Old Fuerty Church, Roscommon, Ireland

The ruins at Fuerty are that of a late 17th century Church of Ireland church but the history of the site as a monastic community goes back to the early days of Christianity in Ireland. In traditional folklore St Patrick was said to have visited Fuerty and entrusted the building of a monastic settlement there under the stewardship of a Deacon called Justus, Justus was believed to have baptised St Ciaran who was the founder of Clonmacnoise. A church and monastic community is recorded at this site up until the Cromwellian incursions into eastern Connaught, over 100 monks were killed by troops under the leadership of Ormsby. The abbey/church was also destroyed and lay in waste until the late 17th century when the Church of Ireland church was built on the site, the tower was a later addition around 1790. One of the most interesting archaeological finds at the site are the two cross slabs dating from the 9th to 11th centuries that were once buried in the graveyard but are now mounted on the side of the church tower. One of the slabs refers to a monk named Aidacain/Aedhacan who was an Abbot at Clonmacnoise and is listed in the Annals of the Four Masters in 865AD. The headstones in the graveyard mainly date to the sites later existence as a Church of Ireland parish church and are mostly 17th and 18th century, though certainly some earlier grave markers exist. An interesting article on the folklore of St Patrick in Ireland can be read on the excellent Vox Hiberionacum website here

GPS: 53.61021, -8.2689

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