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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Killofin (a)

This Parish, which is locally called the Rinn because it forms a Rinn or point extending into the Shannon, is bounded on the west, south and east by the Shannon, and on the north by the Parish of Kilfaddan.

This Parish is called in the Irish language Cill O’Finn, which means the Church of O’Finn, and seems to have been originally a Chapel belonging to a family of that name. See families of Thomond as given by Mac Firbis.

The old Church of Killofin is in good preservation and measures on the inside sixty seven feet in length and eighteen in breadth. Its west gable contains no feature but a small pointed belfry of cut stone at the top. The south wall has a pointed doorway placed at the distance of twenty one feet nine inches from the west gable, and measuring on the inside seven feet seven inches in height and five feet three inches in breadth (width) and on the outside six feet eight inches in height and three feet six inches in width. At the distance of seven feet eight inches from the east gable there is in the same wall a pointed window measuring on the inside six feet eleven inches in height and four feet one inch in width, and on the outside (where it is placed at the height of four feet from the ground) five feet two inches in height and eleven inches in width. It is constructed of cut limestone.

The east gable contains a Gothic window measuring on the inside nine feet three inches in height and four feet ten inches in width and on the outside, where it is placed at the height of six feet from the ground, it is six feet four inches high and two feet five inches in breadth. It is constructed of well cut limestone, and divided into two divisions by a stone mullion.

About eighteen feet of the eastern part of this Church look much more modern than the remaining part to the west. The north wall is featureless. The side walls are thirteen feet high and four feet thick. Its graveyard is very extensive.

About a quarter of a mile to the south of this Church, and in the Townland of Knocknacross [1] is a Holy Well called Tobar Chiarain, the Well of St. Kieran, at which Stations are performed on Sundays, but the festival of St. Kieran is not celebrated at it.

In the Townland of Kilkereen in this Parish are the ruins of a small Church of great antiquity from which the Townland has derived its name. It seems to have been originally divided into nave and choir, but the latter has entirely disappeared, as have all the windows and doorway. The north wall and a part of the west gable as high as the north wall remain; both are built of large field stones and evidently of great antiquity. The north wall is fifteen feet high and three feet two inches thick.

The choir arch remains but it is not of the original work, as is evident from the stones of which it is built, i.e., thin quarried flags. It is about sixteen feet high and ten feet wide.

This Church is eighteen feet six inches in breadth and the part of it remaining is thirty two feet in length, that is from the west gable to the choir arch. The choir was probably half this length or perhaps a little more, but even its foundations are not now traceable.

There is no graveyard attached to this old Church, which is another proof of extreme antiquity.

About half a furlong to the east of this Church is shewn St. Kereen’s Altar (Altóir Chéirín), but all the stones have been removed with the exception of two, one of which has a cross sculptured on it.

The festival of St. Kereen is not celebrated in the Parish and his day is forgotten. Who was he?

In the Townland of Ballymacolman or Colmanstown in this Parish are the ruins of a Castle mentioned in the list of the Castles of Thomond above referred to as belonging to Tege Mac Mahon of East Corco Baiscinn.

 

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