Part 3: Pre-reformation
church and monastic sites
Chapter 29: Kilnasoolagh Parish
Kilnasoolagh Church (site of); Kilkieran Holy Well; Kilkieran
Kilkieran Church (site of)
KILNASOOLAGH CHURCH (Site of)
Nat. Grid. Ref: R390680; ½” Sheet 17
Present Church at Kilnasoolagh, dating
|R.C. Parish :
|6” O.S. Sheet number :
||51 (Co. Clare)
||2.8 cm North; 32.8 cm West
|Height (G.L.) :
|| c. 50’ O.D.
|1” O.S. Sheet number :
For information relating to this levelled
site refer to: - (a) photo above (b) site description
of the ancient Church of Cill Subhalaigh not a vestige now remains, but
its site is supposed to be occupied by the present modern Protestant
House of Worship…” (O.S. Letters, 1839, page 80).
So states O’Donovan when speaking of sites of historical interest
in Kilnasoolagh Civil Parish. It is interesting to read the above early
comment and compare it to Westropp’s 1900 reference: “…fragments
of late mediaeval windows remain…” (page 149). Field examination
(1979) failed to find any window fragments in spite of careful searching
about the nineteenth century Anglican Church and graveyard.
Date of Church:
Here we are faced with the problem that no actual remains of the site
are now visible. If we use Westropp’s above cited reference we
can say that a church existed on this site in, perhaps, the sixteenth
However Kilnasoolagh was known, and probably had a church site, some
centuries before that date. According to “History of the wars of
Thomond” cited by Frost, in 1312 the church of Kilnasoolagh was
plundered by Murtagh O’Brien (1893, page 190). However due to the
propaganda nature of this work on the wars of Thomond one has to be careful
with its references. (This book and the general question of Norman – Gaelic
struggles during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries has already
been dealt with in some detail in the introduction to the thesis).
REFERENCES TO KILNASOOLAGH CHURCH:
Frost, 1893, pages 190 & 191. (In this Frost makes the statement: “…As
regards the old church not a fragment of it now remains; the Protestants
pulled it down and built a new one on its site…”).
Westropp, 1900, page 149 (general).
O.S. Letters 1839, page 80 (cited previously, see above).
Other Sites of Religious Interest:
A: Kilkieran Holy Well
Kilkieran Townland; 6” O.S. Sheet 42 (Co. Clare) Reference: 28.5
cm North; 42.8 cm West; at 50’ O.D.
There is a small burial place for children in the Townland of Kilkieran…” (O.S.
Letters, 1839, page 80). The site of this is not marked in on the relevant
O.S. Sheets and field examination found no trace of it.
C: Church Site?
Westropp believed that there formerly was a church site in Kilkieran
Townland dedicated, as the name suggests, to Saint Cieran. (1900, page
There is no local tradition of such a site.