Kilbroney Monastic Site

Map Reference: J188195 (3188, 3195)

At Kilbroney Graveyard there is the ruin of a small nave-and-chancel church covered with ivy. It was probably built in the 15th or 16th century with the chancel being a later addition.

In the graveyard is a monolithic granite cross. The W face is flat and the E face is convex. At the angles of the arms with the shaft and the head are three-quarter circular hollows 5cm deep. The W face is covered with panels of fret-pattern enrichment with a diamond-shaped panel at the intersection. The carving is greatly weathered.

The W face of the tall cross

A short distance to the west is a small cross almost 1m high and 30cm wide. It is shaped somewhat like a human figure with a round head, short stumpy out-stretched arms and a wedge-shaped body. The figure is outlined by a groove and there is a cross carved in front of the body. The carving is very shallow and difficult to see.

The small anthropomorphic stone

The graveyard has many fine 18th and 19th century memorials including several slate stones carved by James Connolly of Burren, with fine figure carving and excellent lettering

St Bronagh founded a monastery at Kilbroney but nothing is known of its history. The monastery bell was lost for many years after a Viking raid. It was believed that St Bronagh would ring her bell on stormy nights to warn sailors of the approaching shore. Many people heard it ring. During one very violent storm a large tree fell and the bell was found in its branches. It had been placed there for safe-keeping many centuries before. It is now on display in the local Catholic church.

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