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Britway church, Britway, Cork

(52°2′39″N, 8°10′32″W)
W 88 88
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Cork
now Cork
medieval Cloyne
now Cloyne
medieval St Briget
  • Tessa Garton

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Feature Sets

Ruined church, consisting of nave and chancel, with antae. Little remains of the chancel but most of the W and N walls of the nave remain, and the NW anta is well preserved (int. w. 5.2 m x return of N wall 10.8 m).


Little is known about the early history of the church. It was recorded as in ruins by 1615 (Brady, 1863, Vol.II, 63).


Exterior Features




Leask compared the fine sandstone masonry to the nearby churches at Coole, and suggested that it may be the work of the same masons. The lintel and infill of the doorway do not appear to be original in their present arrangement; the 'tympanum' is of rough stone, with through-stones resting on an iron bar on the interior. The N springing of arch appears to be a voussoir broken into two pieces which have been pushed to the N to make place for the lintel. The S springing seems however to have been cut with a setback for the arch; the top jambstone is notched for the lintel and continues to form the springing of the arch. O'Keeffe compared the use of a relieving arch to examples at Confey (Kildare) and St Kevin's in Glendalough. The projecting motif on the keystone is comparable to the design of the round tower doorway at Rattoo (Kerry); O'Keeffe identifies it as a cross, like the example at nearby Killeenemer. Restoration work was carried out in the 1990s.


F. E. Currey, ‘St. Bridget’s Parish, Britway, Co. Cork’, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 24, 1894, 129-131.

H. G. Leask, Irish Churches and Monastic Buildings, I, Dundalk,1955, 69.

T. O’Keeffe, ‘Architectural Traditions of the Early Medieval Church in Munster’ in (eds.) Monk, M. and Sheehan, J., Early Medieval Munster; Archaeology, History and Society, Cork, 1998, 112-124.

D. Power, Archaeological Inventory of Co. Cork II: East and South Cork, Dublin, 1994, 245.

Rev. P. Power, ‘Placenames and Antiquities in SE Cork’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 34, Ser. C., 1917-19, 29.