Knockpatrick : Church

Grid RefR 247 498
GPSR 24666 49821
Longitude9° 6' 42.59" W
Latitude52° 35' 40.26" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownFoynes (1.7 Km)
OS Sheet64
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 3rd April 2005

For me this site is all about the hill. The well maintained graveyard and church ruin sit on the very summit of a splendid hill.

There is very little of the church left and no sign at all of the remains of a round tower as mentioned on the sign by the farm gate. The site could do with a little information board with a map.

In the field to the east of the site there is a modern cross, which stands on an exposed outcrop of rock. The aforementioned sign at the farm gate also mentions St. Patrick's Kneeling Stone perhaps this outcrop is it (?)

Round Towers are found all over Ireland. They are very tall towers associated with early monastic settlements. Their purpose is one of much debate: were they bell towers, look-out towers or were they defensive structures, built to protect the sites relics and books during Viking raids? Maybe they were all three! The high-set doors certainly give the impression that some element of defense was considered in their construction.

Internally they had four or five floors, each accessed via a ladder from the floor below. Not every floor had a window, but the top floor usually had four windows which aligned to the cardinal points of the compass. The one at Kells (County Meath) unusually has five windows on the top floor which point at the five gates to the town.

Not many of the eighty plus examples left are full height these days. Many crumbled and were taken down for safety purposes. Some, however, are still very impressive inded with Kilmacduagh (County Galway) reaching an incredible 35m tall.

Originally all of them would have had a conical roof and those that still possess this feature give the impression of being ready to blast off into space.

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Marked Sites


From Foynes head east along the N69 for a little over 1km until you see Knockpatrick signposted to the right. Follow this road for 2km until you reach the second 5-way junction. Turn right and continue until you reach the farm gate on the right, which has large signs for the site. Drive up this track until the first gate and park. You will have to walk from here up the hill to reach the church.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Churches

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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