Kilcooley Parish Church

Medieval churches

Christy Cunniffe

Kilcooley medieval parish church from northwest.
Christy Cunniffe
View of priests accommodation in the west end.
Christy Cunniffe

Kilcooley medieval parish church stands as ruin on a rise of ground within a circular enclosure. It comprises of a single chamber church with a vaulted chamber in its west end with priests accommodation above. The doorway which no longer survives was in the south wall. The east gable and the south wall are missing. The north wall and west Gable survive. A window in the upper level of the west gable provided light to the priests quarters. The church appears to be multi period. One dressed stone built into the fabric of the north wall provides an initial building of late 12th or early 13th century origin. However, the priests quarters and vaulted room are late medieval, probably 15th-century additions.

Fieldworks and a possible medieval road occur that reflects an extensive settlement around the church. The roadway links the parish church with Kilcooley Castle.


This page was added on 25/02/2015.

Comments about this page

  • Christy, did you ever inquire about my Mahon family buried at the Kilcooley Church?they were tied into the Murphy family in the Coolagh village area too. Thank you Christy. I hope you are well.

    By Bernard S Jackson (04/08/2021)
  • Thank you for the this article…as have been researching re Kilcooly Castle plus Bardic school.
    Lovely images.

    By Noelene Beckett Crowe (05/10/2019)
  • Kilcooley Graveyard is a very important monument and has great historical value to the community, there were 3 monasteries, Kilcooley, Kilmeen & Kilbocht, and there are several stories about the times the plundering took place. Our concern now is that there is some of the gable falling away and we will be as a matter of urgency seeking assistance to have it replenished.

    By Jackie Flannery (27/12/2018)
  • Thank you Christy. I too have not been on the page for along time (since 2015). I had not seen your reply until today (12/19/2017). The monument in the photo of the church is “our family” by chance. It shows the family plot of the Murphy family and my Richard Mahon family of Coolagh. I was absolutely amazed when I saw it here. I would love to return someday. I am having difficulty identifying Richard’s parents in the area. I understand that there was a very prominent Richard Mahon living nearby but, we don’t think he was my ancestor. Who knows for sure? I was hoping that someone that knew the families i the area would have seen my posting. Perhaps, they will see this one. God Bless you all in Ireland.

    By Bernard Scott Jackson (19/12/2017)
  • By absolute and amazing chase, this photograph shows my great great grandfather’s family plot and headstone at Kilcooley Church. I was just there three weeks ago taking pictures with my cousins. Imagine my surprise when I saw this website today. Thank you. Bernard S Jackson, Sacramento, CA, USA

    By Bernard S Jackson (19/08/2015)
  • Bernard,

    I know a few people in that area and will ask them if they have information on your particular Mahon family.


    By monument (20/12/2017)
  • Bernard,
    I am delighted that you liked the post. I shpuld have been back to you sooner but had forgotten how to access my account.

    By monument (10/02/2016)

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