Kilmalkedar Church, Kerry, Ireland

Kilmalkedar is an early monastic site situated on the Dingle Peninsula and is associated with Saint Maolcethair, a local saint who died in 636, however the Hiberno-Romanesque church ruins that still stand date from the 12th century. The church consists of a nave and chancel joined by a beautiful Romanesque doorway, the decoration on the interior of the church depicts images of animals. Inside the church next to the chancel arch stands ‘The Alphabet Stone’ which dates from the 6th century. This stone is decorated with a Latin cross with scrolled terminals and also the Latin alphabet.

Situated outside the church on the pathway that leads through the graveyard stands a wonderful holed Ogham stone measuring 2 metres in height. Across from this stands a pillar stone known as ‘The Sundial’, its shape is unusual, having a rectangular shaft and a semi-circular head. The north west face of the Sundial features the ‘cross of arcs’ which can be seen at sites that mark important places to visit on pilgrimage routes, likewise these be seen at Monasterboice and Clone. Also situated to the south of the path is a very sturdy stone cross measuring 2.5 metres in height, during excavations it was discovered that 1.8 metres of the shaft lies below ground level.

To the north of the church there is a two story medieval building known as St Brendan’s House, its on private property and barb-wire makes it difficult to access, but I had to have a peak regardless. Its unfortunate that access to this part of Kilmalkedar is not officially allowed.

GPS: 52.18476, -10.33626

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