Disert Aonghasa

Map Reference: R495413 (1495, 1413)

Aengus (or Aonghas, or Oenghus) is sometimes known as Aengus the Culdee. He was born about 750AD. He joined the monastery of Clonenagh, near Portlaoise, and was ordained around 775AD. He joined the Ceili De (Companions of God) and set up his own disert or hermitage. This was about 780AD but he moved on after about two years. He died in 815.

None of the buildings on the site date to the time of Aengus. The Round Tower may be as early as 10th century or as late as 13th century. It is about 20m high and has a round-headed doorway with some pellets and moulding. It is 1.75m high and is placed 4.6m above ground level. The church may be as late as the 16th century but incorporates fragments of an earlier building.

When I visited the site in July 2010 renovation work was being carried out on the buildings. It was not possible to make a close examination.

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