St Kerrill's Abbey, Cloonkeenkerrill

Community Monuments Fund 2021

B. Doherty

Lancet window in gable wall, St. Kerrills
B. Doherty
Site Meeting at Cloonkeenkerrill July 2021
Corbel re-used in St. Kerrill's 'Bed', or coffin rest
B. Doherty
Ogee headed window with carving , St. Kerrils, Cloonkeenkerril
B. Doherty

St. Kerrill’s Heritage Group, a sub-committee of Gurteen Community Council procured the services of 7L Architects to prepare a conservation management plan of St. Kerrills Abbey and graveyard. Located in East Galway, this abbey has many fine medieval features. It is a central focus within the local community.

No work on a Monday

The Abbey, which is in ruins, is situated in a publicly owned (Galway County Council) graveyard that
is the main cemetery within the parish of Gurteen. Local tradition dictates that no work (including
burials) be carried out in the graveyard on a Monday. This tradition, which continues to this day stems
from the tales of St. Kerrill himself and highlights the uniqueness of this place and its importance to the

Multi-discipline Heritage Team

Prepared by 7L Architects with advice and input from Ecologists MKO, Conservation Engineers Kinvara Konsult Ltd and Archaeologist Dominic Delaney, the purpose of the plan is to assess the history, cultural significance and current condition of the ruined church and its graveyard setting. It assesses the threats; outlines a conservation strategy and makes recommendations for enhancement, improved management and interpretation.

Detailed Report

The detailed report shall be used to inform the graveyard committee, heritage group, Galway County Council and National Monuments Service of best heritage practice and proposed management of the site. It shall enable the group to make informed decisions when applying for funding in the future.

Interesting Features

The surviving ruins of Saint Kerrill’s Abbey consist of the ‘much-repaired rectangular church with a south transept’ (NMS Files) .  Interesting monuments include St. Kerrill’s Bed, with a re-used carved headed corbel, the carved effigy of Bishop Edmond Kelly (1658-1732), and various memorials and architectural features throughout the site.


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This page was added on 15/11/2021.

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