Ballygunner Temple Church, Waterford, Ireland

Ballygunner Temple is a ruinous medieval church situated four kilometres south east of Waterford City. Though it is uncertain to what period of time the present structure dates a church is mentioned at ‘Ballygennore’ in the Ecclesiastical Taxation Lists of Waterford Diocese from 1302-1306. Ballygunner is one of several place names in Waterford derived from Old Norse that commemorates the presence of Danish Occupation in the area, and is linked to the male name Gunnarr or Gonar. The church was originally dedicated to St Mochorog the Confessor who it is believed founded the first church in this area. The church is noted as being in repair (ie in good condition) at the time of the Down Survey in 1655-56 and the area was in the possession of Lord Power at the time of the Cromwellian confiscation. The church must have fallen into a state of disrepair during the next century as one of the tombs that lies within its confines dates from 1754. The graves are packed tightly around the exterior walls of the church which would suggest the graveyard was far smaller during the pinnacle of its use. The graveyard is dotted with several unusual stone markings and strangely enough during my visit I noticed that almost every single headstone had a small rock placed purposefully on its top!

GPS: 52.22787, -7.0404

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