Feature Sets (2)


The church has a pre-Romanesque nave with antae and a flat-headed W doorway surrounded by a frame in relief. The chancel was added in the 12thc. The E window is round-headed with a Romanesque moulding. The church was much restored c.1700. There is an ogham stone and an early Christian cross slab in the nave.


Ratass was chosen as the Episcopal see of Kerry at the synod of Rathbreasail (1111), but was replaced by Ardfert by 1117 (Gwynn & Hadcock 1970, 95).


Exterior Features


W Doorway

Flat-headed, with inclined jambs, surrounded by a frame in relief, c 0.30m. wide.


E Window

Round-headed. The exterior has a flat surround framed by a plain roll moulding around arch and jambs. The interior is splayed with a sloping sill. The N and S jambs and the sides of the arch have an angle roll, while the top voussoirs are plain and evidently restored.


Harbison dates the nave to the 10-11th c. (JKAHS, 1972). The w. doorway is similar to that of Tuamgraney, Clare. Leask suggested that the western part of the church dated from the rebuilding by Abbot Cormac O Killeen who died in 969.


  • A. Gwynn and R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, Ireland, London,1970, 95.
  • H. G. Leask, Irish Churches and Monastic Buildings, Dundalk 1955 I, 69.
  • P. Harbison, 'The Building History of Ratass Church', Tralee, Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 (1972), 5-13.
  • 'Proceedings', Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 21, (1891), 622.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
Q 85 14 
now: Kerry
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Tessa Garton