St Brendan of Birr, Aghaviller

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Feature Sets (2)


Early monastic site with ruined round tower and nave and chancel church. A medieval residential tower was built over the earlier church probably in the 16thc.




Little of the history of Aghaviller is known. It was the site of an early Christian monastery, the patron of which was St Brendan of Birr. The death of an abbott, Caroc is recorded there in 896. During the later Middle Ages it became a parish church. The building was fortified, probably in the 16thc., through the superimposition of a tower house on the earlier church building.






Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

The built-up chancel arch has the remains of roll mouldings on the jambs, terminating in a trefoil motif close to the base.

N jamb, d. 0.38 m
N jamb, h. 0.30 m
N jamb, w. 0.47 m
S jamb, d. 0.27 m
S jamb, h. 0.39 m
S jamb, w. 0.38 m


The bases of the chancel arch are similar in form to loose base fragments at Kilree, also in Co. Kilkenny.




  • W. Carrigan, The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, Vol.4, Dublin, 1905, 1.

  • ┬áP. Harbison, Guide to the National and Historic Monuments of Ireland, Dublin, 1992, 193.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
S 50 35 
now: Kilkenny
pre-1994 traditional (Republic of Ireland): Kilkenny
medieval: not confirmed
now: not confirmed
now: St Brendan of Birr
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Ruined church  
Report authors
Rachel Moss 
Visit Date
10 Aug 2003