Early Ecclesiastical Remains, Co. Wexford

The following list is from the ‘Archaeological Survey of County Wexford’. It should be of use to any genealogical researcher regardless of whether or not they ever visit Ireland in that it names those churches which are considered to be or have been parish churches for an area giving the townland that the church was located it. It also gives some indication of whether or not there was a graveyard associated with the church, as well as graveyards that were not located in the grounds of a church. Plus, it gives us some idea of the period churches were in use.

The placenames are listed alphabetically:

OS 18:4:1 ‘Kildoran Grave Yard, Church (site of). Church (site) Early ecclesiastical site. Possible bullaun stone, fragment of church wall and nearby St Doran’s Well recorded from here, but none of these features survive. Traces of a circular enclosure (diam. c. 70m) visible as band of subsoil when ploughed. Granite cross (H 0.76m) with incised cross and another granite cross (H 0.7m) with raised boss and elaborately incised cross within small graveyard.

OS 39:3:4 ‘Grave Yard’ Church ( site) Probably of early ecclesiastical origin.Grass-covered foundations of nave (dims. 14m E-W; 7m N-S) and chancel (dims. 5m E-W; 4m N-S) within rectangular graveyard defined by stone-clad earthen bank. Graveyard within large enclosure (dims. 94m E-W; 86m N-S) defined by slight traces of fosse (Wth c. 13m) NNW-N-E and scarp SE-SW. Site of Crone Well just outside enclosure at SW.

OS 2: 15:4 Church (site) Early ecclesiastical site called ‘Kilbride’. Oval area (dims. 80m N-S; 62m E-W) defined by scarp N-SW and by remains of bank (Wth 5.5m; H 0.4m) with external fosse (Wth 5m; D 0.3m) SW-NW. Cairn of stones marks site of church but no evidence of burial.

OS 21:1:2 Church (site) Early ecclesiastical site. Grass-covered remains of building with four cells oriented E- W (dims. 16.5m E-W; 9m N-S) probably recent and secular. Entrance (Wth Im) at N. Bank immediately adjacent on W side. Within a large circular enclosure ( diam. 90m) defined by scarp at Wand E and traces of fosse (Wth Ilm; D 0.4m) and external bank (Wth 5m; H 0.4m) at SW and N. Enclosure truncated at S by field fence. No evidence of burial. Adjacent to ringwork castle. Cross removed from site. Wall of a house (L 10m; H c. 5m) with doorway, two small windows and string course, possibly seventeenth-century in date, adjacent to site.

OS 38:2:4 ‘Church (in Ruins)’ Church Early ecclesiastical site within oval graveyard. Founded by Bishop Ibar in the fifth century. Two crosses with unpierced rings now in NMI and County Museum, Enniscorthy. Granite slab with incised cross still on site. Nave and chancel church (max. L 13.85m; W 6.7m) surviving to H of c. 3m except chancel which is almost completely destroyed. Entrance in W gable and single undecorated light in S wall of nave. Evidence of seventeenth-century pilgrimage

OS 14:10:2 ‘Church (site of), Grave Yard’ Church Early monastic site probably founded by a St Colman in the seventh century and Romanesque parish church of Templeshanbo within oval graveyard. Portion of W wall survives (L 4.15m; H 1.4m). Originally doorway had batter and round head. Bullaun stone in doorway. St Colman’s Well, a rectangular drystone structure approached by stone steps, lies c. 150m to SE. Bullaun stone from wel), now missing. Graveyard with Church of Ireland church surrounded by double-ditched enclosure (max. ext. diam. c. 250m) visible as crop marks on aerial photographs (MM (2) 16-25).
Ballindaggan graveyard just outside S perimeter of enclosure.

OS 36:4:3 ‘Killell Church (site of)’ Church ( site) Early ecclesiastical origin. Marked faintly and described ‘site of Killell Church and Grave Yard’ on 1841 OS 6-inch map. Roughly circular clearing in forest (diam. c. 40m) defined by scarp N-SE and traces of fosse (Wth 2.7m; D 0.4m) NW-N. Cairn material in centre but no evidence of burial. Small cross-inscribed slab found on site.

OS 39:5:6 ‘Kilmokea Church (site of)’ Church ( site) Early ecclesiastical site and parish church of Kilmokea. Small graveyard with Early Christian cross, circular font of conglomerate and granite cross-base. Within large enclosure (dims. c. 330m N-S; c. 260m E-W) defined by earthen bank best preserved SW-W (Wth 7m; ext. and int. H 2m) with outer fosse SW-W (Wth 10m; D 1.5m). Two bullaun stones associated with enclosure. Horizontal mill ( 400) found within enclosure; and earthwork site immediately outside at NE.

OS 46: 12:6 ‘Church (in ruins), GraveYard’ Church Early ecclesiastical site and parish church of Kilcowan. Rectangular structure defined by grass-covered wall foundations (dims. at least 18m E-W; 6.8m N-S). Only W wall and adjacent S wall with door survive to H of 2.3m. Bullaun stone outside NW corner. Within subrectangular graveyard which itself occupies NE quadrant of larger enclosure (diam. 136m E-W) defined by field fences and graveyard wall W-N-SE and cropmark SE-W, visible on aerial photographs Motte built on W boundary of enclosure.

OS 20: 10:2 ‘Church (Site of)’ Church ( site) Possibly of early origin. Rubble-strewn area with foundations of some walls visible (dims. 17m E-W; 14m N-S). Arc of enclosure survives as scarp NNE-ESE (C 78m). No evidence of burial. Holy well c. 30m SW of church.

OS 20:2:6 ‘Church (site of), Burial Ground (disused)’ Church (site) Possible early ecclesiastical site. Remains of church appear as grass-covered walls (dims. 15m E-W; 6m N-S). Bank of circular enclosure (Wth 6-8m; H O.3m) survives SW-N-E (diam. 83m) but no evidence of burial.

OS 18:12:2 ‘St. Anne’s Bur. Gd’ Church (site) Early ecclestiastical origin and parish church of Killann. Old church pulled down c. 1835 (O’Flanagan 1933, vol. 2, 102) and no traces visible. Outside subrectangular graveyard traces of enclosure remain NE-S-NW, defined by scarp (diam. c. 120m). St Anne’s Well whose pattern was held on 26th July until 1824 and which is still venerated, lies c.140m to S of graveyard.

OS 29:11:5 ‘St Stephen’s Chapel (site of)’ Church ( site) Early ecclesiastical in origin, it may be the site of St Abban’s monastery One length of wall oriented N-S (L 5.8m) is all that remains. Two bullaun stones on site. Within a large sub circular graveyard (dims. c. 155m E-W; c. 140m N-S). Site of St Stephen’s Well at SE corner of enclosure.

OS 54:4:2 (830,600) ‘Brecaun Church (in ruins)’ Church Early ecclesiastical origin. Parts of W gable (L 4.55m) with segmental-arched doorway and N wall (L 9.lm) survive. Fragments of an ogham inscription found in 1845 and c. 1930. Excavation by T. Breen found the final missing piece of ogham stone and also revealed that present structure was built on foundations of older church. No burials associated but evidence of enclosing ditch feature confirmed.

OS 53:11:2 ‘St. Vogue’s Chapel (in ruins)’ Church Early ecclesiastical site. St Vogue or St Beac is thought to be a saint of the sixth century with Breton and Irish connections. Rectangular structure oriented ENE-WSW (dims. 9.38m E-W; 4.9m N-S) with walls surviving to H of c. 1.4m and a complete E gable (H 3.6m). Entrance (Wth 0.7m) towards Wend of N wall. Narrow round-headed E window and niche at N side of E wall, with small window at E end of S wall. Altar against E wall. Within sub circular enclosure (dims. 48m NE-SW; 42m NW-SE) curtailed by old farm buildings at SE and defined by earthen bank (Wth 2.5-3.5m; int. H 0.8-1.2m). Church repointed in 1940s and excavated in 1975 by M.J. O’Kelly et al. (1975), who discovered three phases of activity. The first included remains of a small wooden oratory ( dims. 2.25m x 1.5m) and hut site contemporary with the bank which was accompanied by a shallow outer fosse. The second phase involved the building of the present church and a rectangular building in the SE quadrant. Pottery from this phase suggests at the earliest a seventeenth-century date, although material may relate to the abandonment of the site. The third phase related to the post-medieval use of the enclosure for burial. Site of St Vogue’s Well, where patterns were held on 20th January lies c. 120m to E. St Vogue’s stone with T-shaped cross inscribed on it lies on the foreshore.

Churches and Graveyards of County Wexford: