St Lugna, Cadamstown

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Feature Sets (2)


Romanesque corbel set into the facade of the 19thc. Roman Catholic Church along with a  later medieval carved head, and two pieces of chevron, incorporated into the gateposts of Cadamstown house. These pieces of sculpture reputedly came from Leitir church.


The monastery at Leitir was founded in the 6thc. by a disciple of St. Ciaran of Clonmacnois along the Slí Mor - one of the great Irish Medieval roads which linked Tara, Co. Meath with Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Although not well documented in the annals, by the 12thc. the monastery appears to have become a place of note. In 1205 Domhnall, king of Eile was buried there. The church was destroyed in 1650. Chambers records a stone building, orientated east west close to Leitir House, which was associated with the main church buildings. Reputedly material from this structure was used in the construction of Ballyboy mill in 1831 and the facing of Cadamstown church in 1842.


Loose Sculpture


A large sandstone block carved with a beast head.  The upper part and sides of the head are decorated with broad band interlace of Urnes type.  Nostrils are clearly delineated on the under side of the head but otherwise there are no obvious features.  The top of the head appears to be flat, suggesting that the stone originally functioned as a corbel


Two solitary voussoirs decorated with directional chevron.


The corbel is of an unusual type. Its closest parallels are to be found at Cormac's Chapel Cashel.  The fragments of chevron probably date to the early 13thc.

[Editor notes: it may equally have been a label stop, as other churches in Offaly, such as The Nuns' Church, Clonmacnois, has label stops of a very similar shape.]


  • E. Fitzpatrick, P. Heany and A. Rosse, The Wet Hillside of Saint Lugna, Offaly, 1995.

RC Church facade.
Head. Not Romanesque.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
N 22 20 
now: Offaly
pre-1994 traditional (Republic of Ireland): Offaly
now: Killaloe
medieval: Killaloe
now: St Lugna
Type of building/monument
Report authors
Rachel Moss 
Visit Date
Not known