Kilboght Church and Mausoleum
Capital Works Community Monuments Fund 2023
Kilboght Restoration Group were successful in their application for CMF 2023 following a conservation management plan was prepared in 2021 through the Community Monuments Fund. This fund is administered through Galway County Council on behalf of the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Saint Richella was reputed to have been a ‘Sister’ or contemporary of Saint Patrick and he founded the church here in her name. The name Cill Bocht, when literally translated means ‘Church of the Poor’. Kilreekil when translated literally means Church of Richella. According to Dr. Christy Cuniffe, former Galway Community Archaeologist, “Kilbought Third Order Franciscan Convent” the name “presumably originated with the Friars and their tradition of hospitality towards the poor and sick, like St. Francis of Assisi, their founder.”
Conservation works to the ruined medieval church and Blake Mausoleum were carried out by Galway Stone Design. The church was the site of a nunnery founded by St Richella from which nearby Kilreekil derives its name. The extent of loose stonework was visible for a number of years and a scope of repairs were necessary to enable safe access to the site. Repointing of the walls using lime mortars and flaunching of the wall heads stabilised the church. A new lintel was required to support the door.
The impressive Blake mausoleum had its entire north side and corners fallen or become detached due to the growth of a tree from its top. Repairs were carried out using lime mortars and specialist masonry repair techniques by contractors with extensive experience. The finely carved stones of the mausoleum were carefully removed and facing stones expertly repaired and reinstated. The mausoleum was dedicated to the memory of James Henry Blake who died in 1841, by his wife Maria Louisa Blake.
Works were managed by 7L Architects on behalf of Kilbought Restoration Group and Galway County Council. Capital works were carried out under Ministerial Consent and monitored by Dominic Delany & Associates. Pre works surveys included input from ecologists and structural engineers.