Rath Church

Map Reference: R270857 (1270, 1857)

Rath Church was a nave and chancel church but most of the chancel is now gone. Only the south wall remains. It had a pointed chancel arch. The main feature of the church is a fragment of a decorated window surround. This features a small carving of a sheila-na-gig, now set upside down.

There is also a mitred head set into the south wall. At the south doorway is a plain but deep holy water stoop and another decorated panel. The carving is very shallow and worn and the theme of the decoration cannot be identified. The site is associated with St Blathmac, a 6th century saint, who is believed to have been a teacher of St Flannan of Killaloe.

In the 12th century Rath was an important centre of learning supported by the Ui Bhriain kings. The remains of a Round Tower stood to the west of the church but it was demolished in 1838 and some of the stones were built into the graveyard wall.

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