Killabban Church, Laois, Ireland

Killabban Church is a 13th century ruin which stands close to an early monastic settlement founded by St Abban around 650AD. The ruins consist of a nave and chancel measuring 25metres by 10metres. It is believed that the nave was built first, followed the chancel, to which additions were made in the 15th and 16th centuries when the ornate window was added to the east gable. Around 1348AD a settlement was established here by the Anglo-Normans, a motte and wooden castle was erected, it is known that the townspeople were charged sixty shillings per annum for rent of their burgage. It is supposed the settlement started to fall into decline after the Bruce Invasion of Ireland in 1315 and the Black Death of 1348, however the settlement continued into the 15th and even 16th century. The church was attacked during Cromwell’s reign of terror in Ireland which started in 1649AD, after this the church fell into ruin, however the graveyard was used up until the 19th century. The motte which once stood in a field adjacent to the church was levelled in 1986. A huge amount of respect and thanks should be paid to the local committee established in 2014 which sought to stabilise the church, remove overgrowth and maintain the site on an ongoing basis, which now leaves us with a pleasant and peaceful ruin to visit.

GPS: 52.91691, -6.97461

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