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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 3: Pre-reformation church and monastic sites
Chapter 20: Clonloghan Parish


Nat. Grid. Ref: R398640; ½” Sheet 17

Photo 1: Shot into Clonloghan Church, from the west
Photo 1: Shot into Clonloghan Church, from the west

R.C. Parish : Newmarket-on-Fergus
Townland : Clonloghan
6” O.S. Sheet number : 51 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 23.8 cm South; 40.3 cm West
Height (G.L.) : c. 90’ O.D.
1” O.S. Sheet number : 133 (Sixmilebridge)

For information relating to this site refer to: (a) site plan (b) site description (c) series of photographs on the site.

Plan of Clonloghan Church:

Clonloghan Church:
As both photo 1 and the above site plan show only part of the eastern and southern walls survive at this site. There is no evidence of the northern or western walls. Concerning the latter Westropp said (1900): “…the west wall had fallen before 1839…” (page 150). He does not tell us, unfortunately, if a section of the northern wall was evident at that time.

The eastern wall survives to an external length of 5.70 metres. It is pointed and reaches a maximum height of 6.0 metres at its centre (photo 1). Along this wall a window, in a good state of preservation, may be seen (photo 2). It has inclined jambs and a semi-circular head. In the inside this cut sandstone window, along a limestone wall, is 1.35 metres high by .64 metres wide. However on the outside it is only 1.00 metres high by .15 metres wide (photo 2). Ivy covers part of the window on the outside. (For a pen drawing of this window refer to “The Other Clare”, Volume 2, page 32, Fig. 4).

The southern wall now only survives to an external length of 5.30 metres. It averages 2 metres in height. This wall also has a window (see site plan) though not in as good a condition as that in the eastern wall. Again it has inclined jambs, with this time a lintel rather than a semi-circular head. This window has been blocked up by stones on the inside (photo 3). On the outside ivy has covered the window space. Field work suggested that the window was 1.0 metre high by .64 metre wide, on the inside, by 1.0 metre high but only .15 metre wide on the outside. (See Westropp 1900, plate 11, figures 2 and 3 for field sketches of the east and south windows).
A number of graves occur about and within the site’s interior. A number of these date to the 1960’s – early 1970’s, though most are much older.

Date of Church:
The simple nature of the two windows suggest an early date for this site. Westropp suggested (1900, page 150) that it could be tenth century. It is certainly of a pre Norman date.


Frost, 1893, pages 186 – 187 (very general).
Westropp, 1900, page 150 (quite general).
The Other Clare, Volume 2, 1978, page 32 (two interesting pen sketches).

Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839, Volume 2, 1928 edition, pages 116 & 117 (Curry).

In this there is an interesting reference to the condition of the church site in 1839. Amongst a general description of the site reference is made to the now levelled north wall
“… of the old Church of Clonloghan the east gable and about fifteen feet in length of the side walls attached to it, together with about fifteen feet in length of the north wall, near the west end only remain to the full height…”

Photo 2: Outside shot of East window, Clonloghan Church
Photo 2: Outside shot of East window, Clonloghan Church

Photo 3: Inside shot of now blocked up south window, Clonloghan Church
Photo 3: Inside shot of now blocked up south window, Clonloghan Church