Bodenstown Church, Kildare, Ireland

The history of the old church at Bodenstown has somewhat been somewhat eclipsed and forgotten and is primarily known as the burial place of the great 18th century Irish Patriot Wolfe Tone. This churchyard is not too far from where I am originally from and I always recall seeing footage of the annual Sinn Féin commemoration held at the site every June. It is uncertain when this church was built however it is mentioned as far back as 1352. It seems that it was no longer in use by the early 19th century as ‘Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary’ (1837) makes no mention of the church being in use, only mentioning the graveyard where Wolfe Tone was buried. Today all that is left of this church is the south and west walls. The Nave houses fragments of a 13th century baptismal font along with the tomb of Wolfe Tone.

Wolfe Tone is widely regarded as the father of Irish Republicanism. He was one of the founding members of the United Irishmen, a group made up of both Protestants and Catholics who opposed British rule. In 1798 they led a widespread uprising which was brutally suppressed and Wolfe Tone was captured and imprisoned. In court he asked to be shot as he wished to die a soldiers death, but was sentenced to be hanged. Before the sentence could be carried out Wolfe Tone attempted suicide by slitting his throat with a pen knife.The story goes that he was initially saved and the wound was sealed, he was then told if he spoke he would bleed to death, Wolfe Tone responded ‘so be it’, he died on the 19th of November 1798 in Provost’s Prison, Dublin.

GPS: 53.26615, -6.66526

2 thoughts on “Bodenstown Church, Kildare, Ireland

  1. Love your site and what you do. I’ve always been interested in ancient sites and the history behind them

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