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Killeigh Early Christian Monastic Site

Impressive remains

In the 6th century Sinchell founded the monastery at Cill Aichidh (the church of the field). In the 12th century the Augustinians established a priory here. A short stretch of wall near the community hall is all that survives of the Augustinian priory. A convent of Augustinian nuns was established at Killeigh in the late twelfth century and was possibly located where the modern post office is today.

KILLEIGHMONASTIC262x262Around 1293 O’Connor Fallighe (Offaly) founded a Franciscan friary in the monastic town of Killeigh which was dissolved in the late sixteenth century. In 1537, Lord Deputy Grey, who was unable to defeat O’Connor, looted the Franciscan friary and stole the organ and windows from the church. The Church of Ireland Church in the centre of the village incorporates part of the remains of the Franciscan friary.

Looking out into the fields behind the Church of Ireland there are impressive remains of a double banked monastic enclosure encircling the village of Killeigh. This was the foundation for the  town wall for the monastic settlement ( Civitas of Killeigh.)

Leaving Killeigh on the Tullamore road there is a sign for St Sinchell’s Holy Well and Holy Tree. There is a public path down to the site.

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