A guide to the best and sometimes off the beaten track historical ruins around Ireland and how to get there.
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Old Kilcoole Church Co Wicklow
Old Kilcoole Church is believed to have been constructed in the 12th century and was dedicated to St Mary. The Church consisted of a Nave and a Chancel and although in a ruinous state there is still quite an extensive amount of it remaining. Both the Nave and Chancel had vaulted ceilings and a heavily pitched stone roof, now gone. There appears to be part of a later extension still in evidence which may have been a Priest's house.
Within the Nave there is a square Baptismal font and a cross slab. The ruins are surrounded by a quadrangular graveyard with some of the stones dating back as far as the 1700's.
When we arrived at the site of Kilcoole Church we found a small gate and a short lane leading from it towards the ruins. At the top however we were a little dismayed to find the entrance gate padlocked. However, as the site is in the hands of the OPW there is a small sign on the gate directing you to obtain the key from a Mr. O'Sullivan in the adjacent house.So we did. The O'Sullivans are very nice people and did not seem to mind the infrequent visitor knocking on their door.
Once in, you can easily walk around the ruins which are quite large, but access to the inner part is prohibited by heavy railings on the doors and indeed the open roof, no doubt to detract any unwelcome anti social behaviour. The ruins are quite close to a housing estate and a stone's throw from the attractive Village of Kilcoole, once the filming site for the T.V. series "Glenroe".
To find Kilcoole Ruins, take the N11 from Dublin towards Wexford. After you have passed the Glen of the Downs take the R762 exit for Delgany. Follow the signs for Delgany Village and at the Wicklow arms Pub continue to your right. This will bring you to the Junction of the R761. Turn right and continue on to the right hand fork of the small roundabout. Drive on for approx. 1 mile and continue straight on through the next roundabout. After about another mile you will find yourself on the Main Street of Kilcoole. Take a left turn onto Sea Road and the first left thereafter. At the small roundabout the end of this short road turn left. Continue on to the next junction and turn left again. The ruins are directly on your left hand side. You can park opposite on a wide area of the road.
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