Kilmacduagh/Gort, Kilmacduagh and Kiltartan

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Summary

Until the middle of the nineteenth century Kilmacduagh and Kiltartan were autonomous parishes, each containing portions of the town of Gort. They were amalgamated in 1854 to form the parish of Gort. The present R.C. church of Kilmacduagh is situated in Tierneevin.

Kilmacduagh has one of the oldest and most interesting monastic sites in Ireland. It deserves to be better known as many visitors to the Burren "stumble" on the site and are enthralled by its beauty. Kilmacduagh's monastic site was founded by St. Colman in the seventh century but none of the present buildings date back to that time.The Kilmacduagh area of the Gort parish contains evidence of ancient settlements in the Ballinastaig Wedge Tomb, the Ballinastaig Stone Fort and The Crannagh Dolmen. There is now a user-friendly walk between Garryland Wood and Coole Park.

Kilmacduagh's Round Tower is Ireland's answer to Pisa. It is about 120 feet high and it leans two feet from the perpendicular. There are seven or eight storeys but there are now no floors or ladders. There is a tradition that the tower was built c. 1000 A.D. by the legendary tradesman, the Goban Saor.The Cathedral is the largest of the seven churches of Kilmacduagh. The oldest part of it - the western wall - dates from the twelfth century while the side chapels are later additions. They contain the O'Shaughnessy and the Butler tombs. One relief shows St. Colman holding a large crozier.The Glebe or Bishop's House is a large, square, fortified, castellated structure.

The beautiful O'Heyne's Abbey was a monastery of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. The double-light east window and the columns of the chancel are well preserved.It is now possible to walk through Garryland Wood to the Coole Woods. An added attraction is the newly-erected Bat House.The Crannagh Portal Dolmen is situated three miles NNW of Gort and half a mile NE of Ballinastaig Wedge Tomb.The Ballinastaig Wedge Tomb is situated in flat pasture about a mile NW of Coole Lough and half a mile SW of the Ballinastaig ringfort.The Gortnacullia Holy Well is dedicated to St. Colman.The 18 hole Gort Golf Course was designed by Christy O'Connor. It has a very fine Club House.

Address Gort, County Galway
Parish(es) Gort Kilmacduagh And Kiltartan (Galway)
Category (ies) Heritage/Culture Tourist Attraction