Killybegs Church, Kildare, Ireland

This site is all about hidden places and quite a large percentage of the sites I have visited are in a pretty ruinous state. Its not that I dislike the more grand castles and houses, I just find that walking through these dilapidated places brings a different sort of wonder and thought to my mind. I end up thinking about the lives of the people, to whom these places was sacred, was lived. The fact that Killybegs Church is only about 2 kilometres from the house I grew up in, and until about a month ago I had never known about it, just adds to the experience.

Little is known about this church or its origins. It is believed that the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem occupied the lands, also a lease from 1538 refers to a church here which would suggest it predates the 16th century. In the late 18th century the church, in the newly established village of Prosperous obtained the baptismal font from Killybegs, which would suggest it had already fallen into a state of neglect by then.

The church is built on a small embankment, this is a common feature of many 7th-10th century churches I have visited and makes me wonder how ancient it could be. All that remains of the structure are the western and eastern gables. The belfry that sits on top of the western gable looks very precarious and it seems like it could fall with one strong wind.

Killybegs Church was unknown to my father who grew up not far from there and seems unknown by many locals. I certainly never heard a mention of it when I was child. How these hidden places can evade our consciousness for so long, though our proximity so close, makes me excited to see more.

GPS: 53.27615, -6.73422

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