Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cill Maolcheadair

One of our stops while circling the Dingle Peninsula was to a site where an early saint (Saint Maolcethair who died in 636 AD) had founded a monastry.  The present church was built on the same site in the 12th century.  

Or, for the more fanciful, another informant named O’Connor (Ó Conchúir) related a more romantic story of the Kilmalkedar.  According to Bosco O'Connor, the church had been constructed overnight:
The whole church was built in one night by the fairies, or people like that. And they couldn’t finish it because they were supposed to have the building built before sunrise. And they were doing very well ’til this fellow fell off. And that is why the church to this day remains without a roof. And then there is a window in the side of that church, and it’s called ‘chlós snota,’ ‘the eye of a needle.’ And if you lived to go through this window then you are saved. If not, too bad, you’re going to the other place; you are damned.
Thing is, I hadn't heard this story before I went there and didn't know about the mystical qualities of the window, I just liked its shape. Looks like I'm going to the other place.   

 Back view
Front left hand corner and entrance

 Inside side wall

The church houses a small cross and a large grave slab with a Latin inscription in half uncial script dating to the 6th century and an earlier inscription.  It is thought that the first three letters represent the word 'Domini'.  The top has been broken off.

 The Alphabet Stone

Outside in the graveyard, there are recent graves with Gaelic inscriptions alongside ancient tombs. 


I liked the present day vapour trails in the sky above the ancient tomb and cross.


  1. Keep them coming.
    It looks as if the graveyard is still in use. Services must be a bit damp.

  2. I've been enjoying your holiday posts Pauline and I'm pleased you are recovered enough now to be enjoying it yourself.


  3. Old churches like that make me want to step softly and think deeply. Thank you for continuing to share these pictures and adventures!

  4. What a fabulous old stone church! There's so much history in the UK.

  5. Fascinating. One of the things I forgot to show you was the remains of the old church on the way into town. Silly me. You'll just have to come back again!

  6. I had forgotten this lovely old church. Thanks for the memory.


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