Banagher Church

Map Reference: C676066 (2676, 4066)

Banagher Church is said to have been founded by Muiredagh O'Heney, a local saint of unknown date. Near the entrance to the graveyard are the remains of a small square building. It is featureless except for a door lintel which may not be original. The church is a nave-and-chancel structure. It may date from the 12th century with the chancel being added in the 13th century. It has a very fine west doorway with a massive lintel and an excellent square moulding.

The inside of the doorway is round. The south wall of the nave has a fine, deeply-recessed, round-headed window and a similar window in the south wall of the chancel has very fine moulding. Both windows have good exterior moulding.

There is a trace of a window in the north wall but the east wall is almost entirely gone. However a fragment of an ambry may be seen in the east wall. The former existence of a chancel arch is suggested by the moulded bases of the pillars. The outer corners of the chancel have attached moulded pillars with carved capitals. One of these features a beast with a long tail.

In the churchyard is a magnificent church-shaped tomb with a carved panel at the west end featuring a cleric. It probably dates from the 13th century and may be the reliquary tomb of the saint.

Near the east edge of the graveyard is a crude stone cross. A similar cross may be seen at the roadside a short distance away. There are a number of fine memorial stones. One of them depicts a skull-and-crossbones and other symbols of mortality. They all have coats-of-arms but any inscriptions are illegible.

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