Feature Sets (2)


Nave and chancel church, with recently restored W gable and window, and repairs to the chancel arch with a modern concrete lintel. The chancel has low walls built of large blocks, mainly granite and sandstone, with diagonal tooling on some of the sandstone blocks. The nave, wider and higher than the chancel, appears to be a later addition, with cruder stonework of rough boulders, not properly bonded to the chancel. It has a pointed W window, and round-headed windows on N and S at E end of nave. S doorway at W end of nave. E gable window destroyed. There may have been another window in the N nave wall opposite the S doorway, where there is a destroyed section of wall.


An early monastery on this site was associated with St Colman ua heEirc. In 1260 it appears as a parish church in a dispute between the Bishops of Lismore and Cashel. The church was enlarged in 1389 (Bourke).


Exterior Features


S doorway, nave.

Round-headed, of three orders, badly weathered, with damaged surfaces, but with traces of elaborate decoration. The interior of the doorway is badly damaged. Sandstone.

h. of opening 2.25 m.
w. of opening 1.03 m.
First order

Angle colonnette flanked by wedges, with the base of the colonnette in the form of a reversed cushion capital.     The capitals and abacus have lost all original surfaces, except for some bosses remaining on the W face of the W abacus. The arch has traces of angle roll flanked by a wedge on the face.

Second order

Three-quarter angle shafts flanked by wedges. The base of the shafts takes the form of a reversed cushion capital. There are traces of a horizontal beaded band (with paterae?) above the base on the W jamb. The capitals are both very worn, but have traces of a human head at the angle of the top of both E and W jambs     Abacus damaged, with remains of bosses on chamfer. The arch is badly damaged, with traces of an angle roll flanked by a wedge.

Third order

The jambs have a small angle colonnette flanked by wedges on both corners of E and W jambs. (Badly damaged, but best preserved on the lowest course of both sides). The colonnettes have reversed cushion bases (cf. First order) with a horizontal beaded band above the base, visible on the E side of the E jamb. Impost and abacus totally worn away.

The arch has frontal chevron on the face, two rows (?), comprising a roll flanked by wedges. The soffit and teeth of the chevron are weathered and chipped.  


(i) N window, nave

Round-headed, with rebate and chamfer on the exterior. The arch is formed of a single block of sandstone. The window has a wide interior splay.

S window, nave.

Similar to N window, but with the archstone broken into three pieces.


Sweetman describes the carved base of a doorway which has been rebuilt into the upper part of the N wall of the chancel, and which may have been part of the original W doorway of the early church. He considers the chancel to be pre-Norman (hardly earlier than the 12thc.), and the nave a late Romanesque addition, with the W wall of the original church opened up to form the chancel arch. The doorway probably dates from the middle or second half of the 12thc.


  • A. Gwynn, & R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, Ireland, London, 1970, 389.

  • J. Flood, Kilcash; a History, Dublin, 1999.

  • P. D. Sweetman, Archaeological Excavations at Kilcash Church, Co. Tipperary, North Munster Archaeological Journal, 26, 1984, 36-43.

  • W. P. Bourke, Local Church Architecture from the 12th to the 13th century, Journal of the Waterford and South East Ireland Archaeological Society, I, 1895, 265-7.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
S 325 273 
now: Tipperary
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Church (ruin)  
Report authors
Tessa Garton