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St Fechin, Fore

(53°40′38″N, 7°13′44″W)
N 51 70
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Westmeath
now Westmeath
  • Tessa Garton

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A small nave and chancel church consisting of a 10thc. nave with antae, measuring c. 11.5 x 7.5 m internally. It has a flat-headed W doorway with inclined jambs with a moulded frame and a cross on the lintel. The chancel was added c.1200. It measures c. 5.7 x 4.7 m internally. There are the remains of a stone altar under the E window. The lower parts of the chancel are modern.


The monastery at Fore was founded by St Fechin in the 7thc. There are frequent records of the monastery being burned and attacked, with two such events taking place in 1163 and 1169, and was also attacked by the Anglo-Normans and the Uí Briuin in 1176. Most of the lands around Fore were granted to Hugh de Lacey in c.1180 and he was responsible for the foundation of a Benedictine abbey close to the early monastic site. The church has been repaired at various times since 1912 by the Office of Public works, including the reconstruction of the chancel arch in 1934.


Interior Features




Loose Sculpture


A motif similar to that on the chancel arch, with a figure placed on the angle of a stone with hands clasped around bent knees, is found on a reused stone at Rath (Clare).

A. Gwynn, and R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, Ireland, London, 1970,36.
H. G. Leask, Fore, Co. Westmeath, Dublin, n.d.