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St Brigid, Inishcaltra, Clare

(52°54′54″N, 8°27′41″W)
Inishcaltra, St Brigid (Iniscealtra, Holy Island)
R 69 85
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Clare
now Clare
medieval Killaloe
now Killaloe
  • Tessa Garton

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Feature Sets

A small rectangular single cell church, 5.9 m x 3.6 m, situated within a walled enclosure. Romanesque sculpture is found in the W doorway and set into the gable above. The entrance of the enclosure to the S of the church also bears shallow mouldings formed by incised lines on its inside face.


See Inishcaltra, St Caimin. The gable of the church was blown down in 1839. The doorway was demolished during the 19thc. and at the time of Westropp's visit in 1877, only the foundations and a low N wall remained. The stone wall and entrance arch (rebuilt 1879) are part of the enclosure of the church of St Mary.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


(Westropp refers to this church as the 'Baptism church' or St Michael's). The doorway was inaccurately reconstructed in 1879 from surviving fragments. The chevron designs are similar to those on the W door of St Caimin's, and the sculptural decoration appears to be contemporary with the mid-12thc. work at St Caimin's. For further bibliography, see Inishcaltra, St Caimin.


L. De Paor, 'The History of the Monastic Site of Inis Cealtra, Co. Clare', NMAJ, 37,(1996), 21-32.

G. Madden, Holy Island: Jewel of the Lough: A History. Tuamgraney 1990.

R. Brash, 'Inishcaltra and its Remains,' The Gentleman's Magazine (January 1866), 7-22.

R.A.S. Macalister, 'The History and Antiquities of Inis Cealtra,' PRIA 33 C (1916), 93-174.

T.J. Westropp, 'The Churches of County Clare and the Origin of the Ecclesiastical divisions in that county,' PRIA, 22, (1900), 155-7.