Kilwirra Church, Louth, Ireland

Kilwirra Church in Templetown, Co. Louth derives its name from the Irish ‘Cill Mhuire’ (Mary’s Church). The lands at Templetown were granted to the Knights Templar during the 12th century and it is stated that a perceptory or headquarters was located here. The Knights were introduced to Ireland by Henry II, and two hundred were placed here at the edge of ‘the pale’ to protect the Anglo-Norman lands within its confines from the ‘wild’ Irish. In 1312 political problems led to the repossession of the Templar lands which were handed over to the Knights Hospitallars, the Templar Order was dissolved in 1314.

The ruins at Templetown date from the 15th century and measure 15.5metres in length and 5.5 metres wide, the church is only half a mile from the sea and the beautiful Cooley mountains stand to its north. The presence of earthworks and antiquated field systems in the surrounding area lead us to believe that this area was once far more populated than the present day.

GPS: 53.98619, -6.15517

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