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

Parish of Kilmihil (a)

This large Parish is bounded on the north by the Parish of Kilmurry Ibrickan; on the east by the Parishes of Kilmailly, Clondagad and Kilfaddan; on the south by the Parish of Kilmurry Mac Mahon and on the west by the Parish of Kilmacduane.

This Parish is called in Irish Cill Mhíchil, which means the Church of St. Micheal the Archangel to whom the Parish is dedicated and under whose protection it remains. He is a much more illustrious Patron than Senan or any other Saint of Dalcassian or Rudrician origin. The first warrior that ever drew a sword in defence of the celestial (not China?) kingdom and the conqueror of Lucifer is a much more magnificent Patron of a district than a feeble hermit whose life proves him to have been possessed of all human frailties, and who was as crazy and vindictive as he was austere and pious! But St. Senán was, notwithstanding, a great and good man for the little and bad times in which he flourished, and it was as remarkable an exploit for him to banish the horrible monster (dragon) Cathach out of Inis Cathy as for Michael to drive the dragon out of Heaven.

The old Church of this Parish, which is dedicated to St. Michael, is very modern and scarcely worth attention, but we shall nevertheless describe it minutely from (because of) our veneration for its Patron Saint.

It measures seventy feet in length and nineteen feet six inches in breadth. Its west gable contains two features, a small belfry on the top which is much injured and a doorway at the bottom, which, although in the usual position of the primitive Irish doorways, is still decidedly not many centuries old. Its measurements cannot be obtained in the inside but on the outside it is five feet ten inches high and three feet three inches wide.

The south wall contains a square window placed at the distance of four feet from the west gable and measuring on the outside four feet seven inches in height and six inches in width. At the distance of ten feet six inches to the east of this, in the same wall, is a pointed doorway constructed of well cut stone and measuring on the outside six feet in height and three feet nine inches in width. At the distance of eleven feet eight inches from this was another window, but all its features are destroyed. Within three feet six inches of the east gable there is another window which is round-headed, placed at the height of four feet from the ground and measuring on the inside six feet seven inches in height and five feet ten inches in width, and on the outside four feet nine inches in height and six inches in breadth.

The east gable contains a pointed window measuring on the inside about twelve feet in height and six feet ten inches in width and on the outside (where it is placed at the height of six feet from the ground) about eight feet six inches in height and one foot six and a half inches in breadth. It appears to be two inches narrower at the top. It is constructed of well-cut lime stones, and bar holes appear in its sides at regular distances.

The side walls are twelve feet high and four feet thick and constructed of good quarried stones laid in regular courses. All the features of this Church are constructed of well-cut lime stones.

 

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