Baldongan Church

Map Reference: O241575 (3241, 2575)

From a distance this monument could be mistaken for a tower-house with fragments of an attached bawn. Closer inspection shows that it is a church with the ruins of a chancel attached to a large tower. Substantial portions of the N and S walls of the church remain. There are pointed N and S doorways as well as several pointed windows. The style of building suggests that it may have been constructed as early as the 14th century. Very little of the east window remains but a fragment of window tracery has a hole for a glazing bar. The tower is about 21m tall by 7m square. It is entered by a doorway in its east wall. About 10m above the doorway is a chimney projection supported by corbels. There are small projections on the outside of the other three walls going from ground to roof level. The projection on the west wall is larger than the other two and in pierced by a vertical line of small narrow windows. This suggests that it contains a spiral stairway. Theses features suggest that the tower may have housed a dwelling, possibly for the priest. It may date to the 15th century. A drawing of 1791 shows the church in a similar condition as it is today, and includes a bell-cote for two bells.

Between the church and the roadway there was a castle, built possibly in the 13th century for the Knights Templar. It was besieged and taken by Parliamentary forces in 1642. It was subsequently demolished and the ruins were eventually removed, probably in the 19th century.

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