St Iberius Church, Wexford, Ireland

This medieval church dedicated to St Iberius is situated on a small hill just northeast of Lady’s Island Lough in County Wexford. St Iberius, also know as Ibar mac Lugna was an early Irish saint and the patron saint of Wexford. He is said to have been one of the ‘Quattuor sanctissimi Episcopi” (The four most sacred bishops) who were said to have preceded Saint Patrick’s arrival in Ireland. Iberius founded an oratory in the 5th century close to Wexford Town at a place known as Beggerin Island, which soon grew to be a place of learning and monastic life. This island was formerly situated in the north of Wexford harbour but the land around it has long since been reclaimed and the island is no more. The construction date of the quite ruinous church is unknown but local folklore states that it may still have been functioning until the Cromwellian Conquests of Ireland. In 1887 a crucifixion figure was found at the head of Lady’s Island Lough and was associated with a local tale relating to a young boy taking the crucifix from the church and hiding it in the lake prior to the arrival of Cromwell. This crucifix is now displayed in the nearby Catholic Church of the Assumption.

The graveyard at St Iberius’ Church is dotted with several unusual graves and headstones and is quite overgrown. The arch that can be seen at waist-height is actually the top of old entrance-way to the church, as the structure has been filled with burials and its own crumbling walls this has raised the floor level considerably. This peaceful graveyard and church is worth a quick stop of passing through the area.

GPS: 52.21701, -6.38226

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