St Kerrill's Abbey, Cloonkeenkerrill
Gurteen Community Council were successful in their application for Community Monuments Funding 2023. Following on from the preparation of a conservation management plan 2021, and an initial phase of capital works in 2022, The community were delighted to see works progress further in stabilising the structure that has been iconic in this rural landscape of East Galway.
Franciscan Third Order
The ruined church was a friary founded in 1435 for the Franciscan Third Order by the O’Kelly and Mulkerrill families, who had long associations with the site. It is named after St. Kerrill, a fifth century missionary and follower of St Patrick who is thought to have been born in the area. By the medieval period, it is likely to have been the site of a stone parish church. Today, its immediate setting is much like shown on the nineteenth century maps, albeit there have been two phases of graveyard extension and
several new dwellings constructed.
Conservation Management Plan
In 2021, through Community Monuments Funding, a conservation and management plan for the ecclesiastical site was commissioned by the Gurteen Community Council, in which the multidisciplinary team identified the priority works to conserve the church ruins.
Repairs were carried out using lime mortars and specialist masonry repair techniques by Galway Stone Design. Stones left in the adjacent field following the collapse of the east gable almost forty years ago were catalogued and set aside or re-used where possible. The finely carved stone windows to the west and south of the church were cleared of ivy and infill stone, stabilised, and repaired. Works were carried out under Ministerial Consent under the management of 7L Architects, monitored by Project Archaeologist Dominic Delany and specialist contractors Galway Stone Design.
Photogrammetry was carried out by Gary Dempsey, Digital Heritage Age. Here you can study the window in detail. This was recorded prior to reconstruction works.
The Community Monuments Fund is administered through Galway County Council on behalf of the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Galway Community Archaeology Project is funded by Galway County Council & The Heritage Council.