St Munnu, Kilbunny

Feature Sets (2)

Description

Small ruined church consisting of a rectangular nave (interior c.8.5 x 5 m), with walls of rough uncoursed stone remaining to a height of 1.3 to 2.5 m. The church has a rebuilt Romanesque W doorway.

History

The early history of this foundation is obscure. It was restored in 1987.

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

W doorway, nave

Single order, with inclined jambs of coarse granite. The jambs are plain and very weathered, with faint traces of angle roll (pseudo - 3/4 angle shaft) flanked by wedges.

N Capital: this has a weathered human head at the top of the jamb, recessed into a squared stone. The impost is mostly lost, but a small section remains on the W face, with bosses on the chamfer.

S Capital: this has faint traces of a head at the top of the jamb, framed by curved horn-like segments. the impost has bosses on the chamfer.   The arch has three rows of frontal chevron on the face, separated by wedges. It has been inaccurately restored. Diagonal tooling is visible on the soffit. Of sandstone.

Dimensions
h. of opening 1.96 m
w. at base 0.78 m
w. at top of jambs 0.70 m

Exterior Decoration

Miscellaneous

Corbel

An animal head corbel, to the N of the W doorway. The head is attached to a broader stone (w. 0.25 m.) set in the wall immediately to the left of the doorway, at the height of the arch. The animal has long, open jaws. The surface is very weathered.

Dimensions
d. 0.21
h. 0.32
w. 0.15

Voussoir

Now missing, a voussoir/corbel shown in both the photograph and drawing illustrating Power's article (1922). The corbel was carved with a human head with a long chin and prominent ears, set above the keystone of the arch.

 

Comments/Opinions

The doorway appears to be inaccurately restored and the axial voussoir is much narrower than the others. Other voussoirs may have been lost. Leask suggests that the rebuilt doorway is probably only one order of a larger original. However, it is unlikely that such a small church would have had a much larger doorway. The heads at the top of the jambs are a simplified version of the capitals with angle heads which are common in Irish Romanesque. The chancel arch of the Nun's Church at Clonmacnoise has a human head similarly recessed into a rectangular block capital. The corbel is probably not in its original position. Leask (1955) describes the doorway as being 'flanked by carvings, one of a horse-head', but there is now no trace of any other carvings around the doorway.

Bibliography

  • H. G. Leask, Irish Churches and Monastic Buildings, Dundalk, 1955, I, 161.
  • P. Power, Ancient Ruined Churches of Co. Waterford, Waterford and South East Ireland, Archaeological Journal, 1, 1894-5, 247-50.
  • P. Power, Kilbunny, Co. Waterford, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 32, 1922, 77-80.

Location

Site Location
Kilbunny
National Grid Reference
S 48 13 
Boundaries
now: Waterford
Dedication
now: St Munnu
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Ruined church  
Report authors
Tessa Garton