Louth Churches

Map Reference: H956014 (2956, 3014)

In the townland of Priorstate, on the edge of Louth Village, there are two churches. St Mochta, who died in 534, founded a monastery here. It was plundered and burned many times in the succeeding centuries. The oldest building on the site is known as St Mochta's House.

It is a single-celled church or oratory with a chamber in the roof. It has been extensively restored by the Board of Works and no dressed stone from the windows or doorway survives. This makes dating of the building very difficult. However the style of construction of the roof suggests that it may be as late as the 12th century.

A short distance away are ruins associated with an Augustinian priory which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was founded in 1148 but the ruins, which stand at the edge of the graveyard, probably date from the 13th century.

The church is very long (c.46m). There is evidence of a large traceried east window and the four windows in the South wall of the chancel also show evidence of tracery. There is no sign of a division between the nave and chancel but a reference in 1690 indicates that a central bell-tower may have existed at that time.

There are many interesting memorials in the graveyard including a cruciform stone with a Crucifixion and skull-and-crossbones. To the west of the village is a small motte known as the Fairy Mount

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