Killoughternane Church

Killoughternane Church is a 10th-century Celtic Christian church located in County Carlow, Ireland. It was built on the remains of a timber church said to have been built by Fortiarnán (Fortchern, Fortcheirn) in the 5th century AD.

Killoughternane Church
The White Church
Cill Fhoirtchearnáin
Killoughternane Church
52.6339°N 6.8536°W / 52.6339; -6.8536
LocationKilloughternane, Borris,
County Carlow, Ireland
DenominationPre-Reformation Catholic
Founded10th century AD
Founder(s)Saint Fortcheirn
Functional statusIn ruins
Heritage designationNational Monument
Length5.5 metres (18 ft)
Width3.5 metres (11 ft)
Number of floors1
Floor area19 square metres (200 sq ft)
ParishMyshall and Drumphea
DioceseKildare and Leighlin


Killoughternane Church is located in southern County Carlow, northwest of Mount Leinster and about 6 km northeast of Borris.

The building

The church is made of local hammer-dressed granite, with walls 80 cm (2⅔ ft) thick. A baptismal font is in one corner, and there are antae on either side.[1][2] Archaeological work showed evidence of a Neolithic burial ground.[3]

St. Fortcheirn's Well

A holy well and altar stand across the road. Formerly pilgrims came from County Wexford across the Blackstairs Mountains seeking miraculous cures. In the 19th century a chalice (called the Braganza Chalice, after the bishop's house in Carlow)[4][5] and paten, both of silver inlaid with gold, were found hidden in the well. The chalice bore an inscription dating to 1595 and is believed to have been hidden during the Penal era when Irish Catholicism was repressed.[6] Both are held at the parochial house in Muine Bheag.[7]


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