Sunday 13 August 2023

Dungarvan Old Church Co Kilkenny


                           Above Image: The South facing walls of nave and tower

                                Above Image: The North facing wall and East gable

                                        Above Image: A view up the tower interior

I spotted this looming ruin while passing through the small village of Dungarvan in Co Kilkenny. 

This tall Church of Ireland church was constructed in 1812 as part of the ambitious first fruits initiative which established a swell of new churches with quite a few of them today lying in ruin. This particular one lasted about 90 years of service before it fell into disuse in the early 20th century. The church is single-celled with a tall four stage tower on the West side. It sits on the site of an earlier medieval church which had a bellcote and while no trace of that church remains there are however some ancient grave markers from the time scattered throughout the site. Most of the windows of the tower are now  blocked up including those on the the original level which contained the bell. On the main building there is a large arched window in the East gable and two further windows on the South wall only. The doorway is in the north wall of the tower and while no access is possible to the nave you can see right up through the interior of the tower. The tower itself is architecturally interesting in the way that each level is slightly smaller giving the tower an impression of more height.

The ruin lies in a walled graveyard behind the modern church in Dungarvan village which lies on the R448 between Thomastown and Gowran. You can park in front of the new church and take the gate here in toward the ruin at the rear.

GPS  52° 35′ 11.62″ N, 7° 05′ 39.77″ W

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