Standing within a couple hundred metres of the coastline at Portrane , St Catherines is a ruined medieval church founded by the Nunnery of Grace Dieu. An Augustinian convent was founded here by the nuns in 1190 and at the time was dedicated to Saint Catherine. The religious community flourished in the area for almost 350 years before the suppression of the monasteries in 1540 by Henry VIII. The nuns finally left the area in 1576 and the church and nearby castle were given to Francis Agard by Queen Elizabeth I. It was around this time that the church became known as St Catherines. The church stood inside the gateway of Portrane castle but with modern development its quite hard to ascertain how it would have appeared in its heyday. St Catherines was in use until the late part of the 17th century.
The three story tower is in a decent state of preservation and has a crenellated top typical of many churches in the area formerly known as the Pale, it is surrounded by graves dating from the 1700s to the present day.
GPS: 53.49385, -6.11197