Still Standing


The western gable of old St Cronan’s church in Roscrea, County Tipperary. Cronan was a seventh century monk who founded a religious house, originally a short distance from Roscrea but in too remote a spot for pilgrims to find. So the monastery was re-established here and flourished for many years: the eighth century Book of Dimma, an illuminated set of the gospels now in the collection of Trinity College Dublin, was written here. Post-reformation the monastic site was used by the Church of Ireland until the early 19th century when the old church was demolished and replaced by the present building incorporating much stone from its predecessor. But the 12th century Romanesque gable was retained and for the past 200 years has served as an entrance to the churchyard.

2 comments on “Still Standing

  1. john logan says:

    Still standing? Just about. Successive generations of engineers have brought the roadway – long the main Limerick to Dublin route – as close as they could to the fabric of the church. The unrelenting flow of heavy vehicles cannot have helped what remains. With the building of a motorway to the north east of the town and various service and link roads, there is surely no longer any need to have the road skirt so close to the gable wall. It is time that a decent footpath or, better still, gravelled open space fronting the wall, be constructed.

    • Dear John, Yes indeed a decent footpath wouldn’t go amiss (I almost got flattened by traffic trying to take those pictures…). Still, at least the round tower opposite is better than used to be the case when it was part of a garage…

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