A guide to the best and sometimes off the beaten track historical ruins around Ireland and how to get there.
Sunday, 3 July 2011
Old Esker Church Co Dublin
Esker in Lucan is part of the ancient causeway that stretched from Dublin to Galway. Here lie the ruins of Old Esker Church or St Finians as it is also known. The Ruins date back to the 12th century and are now the only remains left of what was once a thriving religious area in the 1500's.
The church with it's ancient gravestones seems to have fallen badly into disrepair over recent years. The grassy area around it once a tidy lawn is now overgrown and some of the stones have fallen to be engulfed by the wild growth.
The approach to the Churchyard is up a set of steps in the corner of a housing estate in Esker Glebe, Lucan. The iron gates are padlocked but there is a stone stile to the right of the gates for pedestrian access. The Church sits almost broodingly upon a mound. The gable end is quite high and overshadows you. There is certainly a distinct unsettling air about the place and it reminded us of an old Ghost tale by M. R. James entitled "There was a Man dwelt by a Churchyard", where a house had a window that looked out on the graveyard and the strange goings on there. Here also there is a nearby house in which a window also overlooks. I wonder if they have witnessed anything strange?
The ruins remaining are but the shell of the old church but it's nonetheless of interest and makes for some interesting photos.
To find Old Esker Church take the N4 from Dublin and exit at junction 3. At the top of the exit ramp turn left onto Ballyowen Rd. Take the next right turn onto Bewley Lawn and on reaching the roundabout take the third exit onto Esker Lane. Follow this road all the way down until it takes a sharp left bend. You will see the Ruin ahead of you in the corner of Esker Glebe. Parking is easy as it is a residential area.
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