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A Survey of Monuments of Archaeological and Historical Interest in the Barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare by William Gerrard Ryan

Part 1: Commentary: Pre-Reformation church and monastic sites: Summary

While there may be some doubt as to when Christianity was introduced into the Barony we can state that it was established by, at least, the early decades of the sixth century. A number of sites have been assigned to this and the somewhat later parts of the pre Norman period.

Norman influence resulted in the construction of some new Churches and the restoration and alteration of others. Some earlier Churches seem also to have dropped out of use.

The main period of Church building was post-Norman in date, and centred on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A number of quite elaborate sites date to this period. We have examined such sites and found they tend to be similar in shape and principal features. While such sites have none of the elaborate Hiberno-Romanesque doorways to be seen at other centres in the County (Keane, 1980, Photo 10) they are nevertheless very interesting and worthy of study and preservation.

In dealing with the actual sites of ecclesiastical interest in the Barony of Bunratty Lower (site catalogue 2) the following information is given for each:-

(a) Location of site, from 6” and ½” O.S. Sheets
(b) Site plan, to scale of 1cm. = 1 metre
(c) Detailed site description
(d) Site photographs to illustrate features

As stated previously the religious sites are dealt with under their respective Civil Parish. These Parishes are dealt with in alphabetical order.