Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lackaghmore Church Co Kildare

                                              Above Image: The entrance gates

                                                  Above Image: Entrance door

                                      Above Image: View up to the bell mechanism

                                                Above Image: Entrance hallway

                                                    Above Image: The fireplace

                                            Above Image: Watch House remains

                                        Above Image: Commemorative plaque

I came across this nice ruin while perusing the Kildare burial ground survey which has aided me in the past in locating some of the older ruins in co Kildare. So on a fine sunny day and being not too far from its location I diverted to have a look.
The Churchyard in which the ruins stand is quite old with stones dating back to the 18th century. A medieval Church once stood here but is now non-extant. The present ruins are of a Church of Ireland Church built in the early 1800’s. Its commencement of register is recorded as 1829 and it looks as if it fell into disuse sometime in the 20th century.
This very picturesque ruin sits in a walled churchyard and has to be one of the quietest and most peaceful locations I have ever visited. The Church has a very distinctive bell tower embellished with with finials and as you enter through the open door at the base of the tower and look upwards you can still see the workings of the bell mechanism although the bell has long since been removed. The entrance corridor has two entries one on either side into the main body of the Church and between them on this wall is a fireplace which is a most unusual thing to find in a Church. Some of the plaster still remains on parts of the walls but being roofless and exposed to the elements it’s in a pretty overgrown state inside. Still the basic structure stands proud and outside is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. On the East wall there is a plaque attached commemorating the people of Lackagh who were transported into slavery to Barbados under the order of Oliver Cromwell in the 1600’s.This would be at a time when the medieval Church was still in existence. Just opposite this plaque in the graveyard are the foundation ruins of what was once a watch house manned to prevent grave robbing which was a frequent scourge in the early to mid 19th century. Indeed the watch house attests to the fact that some grave robbing would have taken place for it to be installed on the grounds in the first place.
At the entrance gate there is also the ruin of what was a caretaker’s cottage looking raggeed and overgrown, no doubt as long out of use as the Church.
A pleasing visit then to a more recent ruin but worth the time to stop and have a look.

To find the ruins take the junction 13 exit of the M7 motorway for Kildare. At the top of the exit ramp turn right at the roundabout and cross the bridge over the motorway. You will need to go straight through the next two two roundabouts. This will lead you to a T-Junction with the R445. Turn left and drive for approx. 2.5KM taking the second right turn off the R445. Drive for approx. 300m until you reach a crossroads. Turn left and drive for approx. 1.5Km and you will see the gates of the churchyard on your left. You can park at the gates and the gate can be opened by unlatching a hooked chain.

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