A guide to the best and sometimes off the beaten track historical ruins around Ireland and how to get there.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Old Tully Church & Crosses Co Dublin
Chimney on Carrickgollogan Hill in the background
Old Tully Church lies abandoned in a now overgrown patch of land in the old Town land of Lehaunestown. It is reputed to be dedicated to St. Bridget, which would date the original structure between the 6th and 9th centuries. The Nave itself dates back to the 13th century. In 1179 the Church was granted to The Priory of The Holy Spirit and remained in use until the mid 1600's when it subsequently fell into ruin.
We visited Tully on a dry evening. We would not recommend visiting after rainfall as the area is quite overgrown.We found the site of the Church quite a way down a narrow lane and managed to park the car at the gate leaving enough room for other drivers to pass. You can access the site over a very solidly built stone stile in the wall. The grass within is quite long, especially around the headstones and there appears to be loose rocks lurking in the undergrowth, so step carefully. Once you reach the ruin you can walk inside or around it quite easily.
The chancel, now open to the skies, has an entrance arch which has survived time in incredibly good condition and the Church has been designed in usual fashion of the time. It remains a very peaceful spot considering the fact that it is not too far from the sprawling suburbs and motorway.
A little way down the road as you approach the Church you will see one of the two High Crosses that make this site so unique. The cross by the roadside is set upon a plinth and is dedicated to James Crehan who apparently saved the Cross from being discarded when the level of the road was being adjusted in the late 1800's. The plinth replicates the soil removed leaving the Cross standing at it's original height. There are a set of worn steps on one side of the plinth which allows you to climb up and view the Cross closely.
There is a second Cross in the field opposite Tully Church and this can be accessed via a low wooden fence. This Cross dates from the 12th century and is also reputed to be dedicated to St Bridget. It is now quite weather worn and incomplete on one side, but yet still it stands.
To find Tully Church & Crosses, leave the M50 motorway Southbound at junction 15. Follow the sign for Cabinteely and you will come to a small roundabout. Take the 1st left exit and continue on till you reach a set of traffic lights. Turn right. This is Brennanstown Rd. Continue on until you have turned a sharp left bend and then look for Lehaunstown Lane on your right. The Church can be found on your left hand side about a half mile down the lane. Please note that if driving and you need to turn your car around, be aware that this lane is very narrow and there are a number of concealed ditches to the sides which could leave you stuck very badly....We speak from experience!
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