St Flannan’s Oratory, Clare, Ireland

St Flannan’s Oratory is a late 11th or early 12th century structure situated in the historic town of Killaloe in County Clare, beside the 13th century Cathedral. The oratory is named after the first bishop of Killaloe Saint Flannan who was ordained in 639AD. Most oratories are intended for prayer but it is though that this one may have been built to house the remains of the saint. The oratory contains two stories, the only floor visible when you peer inside has a fantastic corbelled barrel-vaulted ceiling. The oratory once would have had a chancel at its eastern end but this was destroyed and all the remains today is the nave, where the congregation would sit. The western doorway has a beautiful Romanesque design and may have replaced an earlier more simple entrance. Another beautiful feature of this small structure is the high pitched stone roof, a feature not very common in Ireland. A visit to the Cathedral and also St Lua’s Oratory nearby is also worth a visit when in the area of Killaloe.

GPS: 52.80654, -8.43945

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