Kilmacduagh, County Galway

This monastic settlement is in a remote location on the borders of Counties Clare and Galway, roughly 5km southwest of Gort. The sense of isolation is accentuated by the stony moonscape of the Burren to the west. Reputedly founded by St Colman MacDuagh in the early 7th century, Kilmacduagh owes more to the monastic revival which led to rebuilding from the 11th century onwards.

 

The centrepiece of the extensive site is a large, slightly leaning 11th or 12th century round tower and a roofless church, known as the cathedral is a pre-Norman structure, which was later remodelled in Gothic style, with flamboyant tracery and fine tomb carvings. In the surrounding fields lie the remains of several other churches that once depended on the monastery. To the northeast of the Teampall is the late medieval Glebe or Abbot’s House, a variant of a 14th or 15th century tower house.

 

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