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St Columba's Church

ch of Ireland Church. (Anglican /Episcopalian)

St Columba's stands on the site of an earlier Mediaeval church, which lay in partial ruins and was restored in 1578. The sole remnant of that church is the Bell Tower. The Mediaeval church continued to be used, in whole or part, until the present church was built in 1778, altered in 1811 and altered again in 1858. The exterior is plain; not so the interior, which is rich Victorian Gothic. The stained glass is particularly noteworthy. In the old baptistry stands a facsimile of the Book of Kells. To the left of the altar stands the grandiose Taylour monument, made from Kilkenny marble and erected in 1736 in memory of Thomas Taylour, Privy Councillor. Greater detail is available in The Churches partly compiled by the Meath diocesan archivist, Rev. Roy Byrne.

The Church is open to visitors in the summer months Monday to Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 10.am. - 1 p.m.

Sunday Service ; 11.30 a.m. Also 8.00 a.m. (Summer)

Daily Service (Summer months) ;10.00 a.m.

Christians of all denominations welcome to receive the Eucharist.

 


In the grounds of the Church stand the remains of four Celtic Crosses, probably 11th century.. One of the crosses was destroyed by English soldiers under the command of Oliver Cromwell at the time of the English Civil War Only two are complete. They represent various scenes from the Gospels.

 

Also in the grounds is a Round Tower, probably from the same period as the crosses. It is unusual in that it has five windows, rather than the usual four,overlooking the five main roads into the town. Round Towers were used as places of retreat and safety when unwelcome visitors (The Vikings or other monastic communities) made their appearance. This may seem a little strange nowadays, but at that time monastic communities were important economic as well as spiritual units. They felt the need to keep themselves and their goods safe.

In times of peace, a monk would call the community to prayer by ringing a hand-bell out of the windows.Near the Church stands a small rectangular building (St Colmcille's House), a traditional 12thC Oratory, like that seen at Glendalough.

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