St. Colman’s Church, Mayo, Ireland

St Colman’s Church is an impressive 12th century ruin that stands on the highest point in Shrule Cemetery. In Irish it is named ‘Teampall Cholmain’ and is dedicated to St Colman or ‘Naomh Colman Mac Duagh‘, born in Kiltartan, Co. Galway circa 550. Colman was the son of a local chieftain who became a priest and went to study on the the Aran Island of Inish Mór. The ruin we see at Shrule was built between 1170 and 1230 by the family of Turlough O’Connor, once the King of Connaught and also the High King of Ireland who died in 1156. The church was built on the site of an earlier structure, which was originally built to mark the spot where St Patrick planted his crozier while in the west of Ireland. The village of Shrule and surrounding parish is certainly historically significant being home to three ancient churches, two abbeys and the ruins of up to six castles. Unfortunately very little information exists about the life and decline of St Colman’s Church but its size and the effort put into this wonderful Gothic structure indicates the important position it held locally at the time of its creation.

GPS: 53.52057, -9.09103

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