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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 31: St Patrick’s Parish (part of)


Nat. Grid. Ref: R587599; ½” Sheet 17

Photo 1: South, ivy covered, wall at Kilquane Church
Photo 1: South, ivy covered, wall at Kilquane Church

R.C. Parish : Meelick – Parteen
Townland : Kilquane
6” O.S. Sheet number : 63 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 16.8 cm North; 37.7 cm West
Height (G.L.) : c. 30’ O.D.
1” O.S. Sheet number : 143 (Limerick)

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

Plan of Kilquane Church:

As photo 1 shows this site is covered by ivy, bushes and trees which makes a thorough examination of the church ruins impossible.

The door was to the south but all that survives now is a 1.85 metre gap in the wall with no trace of an actual doorway (see site plan and photo 2). This southern wall, 12.80 metres in length externally, averages 2.0 metres in height with its maximum of 3.0 metres in the area near its junction with the west wall. There seems, also, to have been a window along this wall but no actual trace of it now survives (see O.S. Letters extract below)

The eastern wall is quite short, only 5.50 metres in length internally. Formerly trace of a window existed here (Westropp, 1900, page 153) but all that exists now is a 1.40 metre gap in the actual wall (see site plan and photo 3). This eastern wall averages 2.50 metres in height.

The north wall also has a gap in it which may mark a window position (photo 1). However, as we noted in many of the church sites dealt with previously, there was no window in the wall opposite the doorway (e.g. Feenagh, Kilconry, Cratloemoyle…). Where traceable this wall averages 2.50 metres in height.

Finally the western wall. This is 7.30 metres long, on the outside, by an average height of 3.50 metres. Parts of the wall, especially near its junction with the southern wall, are covered by ivy.

Graves and tombs occur within and around this church site.

Date of Church:
Unfortunately neither O’Donovan in the O.S. Letters (1839) nor Westropp in his 1900 P.R.I.A. article suggested a date for this site based on the then surviving window and door features. As the above site description showed, no trace now remains of the actual windows or doors. Therefore one can only suggest an approximate date for the construction of this church, perhaps sixteenth century.


Frost, 1893, page 13 (very general).
Westropp, 1900, page 153.
  In the course of his short description of Kilquane Church he states: “…The east window is hidden in knotted ivy…and the south door injured…”

O.S. Letters (1839), pages 129 & 130.

O’Donovan also provides a short description of the church site. In the course of this he states: “…The south wall contains a doorway…measuring in breadth five feet three inches but its height cannot be ascertained as the top is destroyed… The east gable contains a window but it is so completely curtained and filled with strong ivy that its form could not be seen.”

Photo 2: Position of the original entrance, south wall, Kilquane Church
Photo 2: Position of the original entrance, south wall, Kilquane Church

Photo 3: East wall, Kilquane Church
Photo 3: East wall, Kilquane Church