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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
Nat. Grid. Ref: R365616; ½” Sheet 17
For information relating to this site refer to : (a) site plan (b) site description (c) series of photographs on the site
Plan of Kilconry Church:
The southern wall contains the entrance area (photo 1). An examination of the actual doorway suggests it was of the pointed cut-stone type (Leask, type B). Unfortunately the depth of the ivy covering makes a proper examination of it impossible (photo 2). Field work found that much of the cut-stone over the doorway was gone, leaving only rough limestone pieces. It is not clear if such cut-stones fell or were removed. The entrance area is 2.25 metres high by 1.30 metres wide on the outside and 1.60 metres wide in the inside.
This southern wall is 21.50 metres in length externally with an average height of just over 3.50 metres. The wall is higher towards the west and averages only 2.0 metres to the east. Concerning a window, now fully covered by ivy both inside and out, Westropp stated in 1900 : “The south window is also pointed and the splays have flat arches…” (page 150).
The eastern wall, as the site plan shows, has collapsed in part. This seems to have only taken place during the present century as Westropp said about this wall in 1900: “…the east window has two pointed lights…” (page 150). No trace of such a window now remains. The surviving part of the eastern wall, which averages 2 metres in height, is also heavily covered by ivy.
The northern wall can be traced along its full length (see site plan).
This wall survives to an average height of 4 metres though it is heavily
covered by ivy (photo 3). A pen sketch of the outside of this wall may
be found in “The Other Clare”, Volume 2, 1978, page 32, fig.
Date of Church:
Westropp, based on an examination of the now destroyed or hidden eastern and southern windows, suggested a late fifteenth century date for the present Church ruins.
REFERENCES TO KILCONRY CHURCH
The 1839 description is quite useful as it gives us some information on this ivy covered site : “…(along) the south wall… at a distance of two feet from the east gable there is a window measuring on the inside four feet two inches in height and two feet one inch in breadth and on the outside three feet seven inches in height and five and a half inches in breadth. It is pointed on the outside and flat arched at the head on the inside. The east gable contains a window which is rectangular headed inside and outside and divided into two divisions which are arrow headed. It measures on the inside five feet ten inches in height and three feet six inches in width and on the outside four feet ten inches in height and one foot seven inches in width, of which the mullion is seven inches…” (The approximate positions of the southern and eastern windows are marked in on the site plan. As these positions are, as stated, an approximation I have put a question mark in each window space).
Other sites of religious interest: