St Nicholas’ Church, Dublin, Ireland

The charming remains of this roadside medieval church, dedicated to St Nicholas of Myra, probably fell into ruin during the tumultuous period that was the mid 17th century in Ireland. Kinsealy/Kinsaley comes from the Irish ‘Cionn Sáile’ which translates as salt-head/saltwater-head which reflects that at one stage in its history the sea encroached far further inland. The church is plain in structure and only the nave survives intact. Its west gable stands resolute, with a tall round arched window and a double bellcote above.

The arch is all that survives of the chancel, which by 1837 Samuel Lewis described as a ‘picturesque ruin covered in ivy’, the mausoleum of the antiquarian Austin Cooper nestles closely to its northeast. Cooper held high office in the Irish treasury but his lasting influence was due to his interest in recording the ancient buildings of Ireland. The graveyard that surrounds the church contains burials dating from the 18th – 20th century, the earliest grave that still stands dates from 1754 and is dedicated to Elias Reynolds and five of his children who died in their youth.

The ever expanding sprawl of Dublin has in the past threatened this important site, one hopes that its history will not be forgotten by developers in the future.

GPS: 53.42448, -6.16873

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