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Ecclesiastical Sites
in Westmeath.

Fore Abbey.

 

(Spring.)

St. Fechin founded a monastery here around 630 A.D. By the time of his death in 665 from yellow plague, approximately 300 monks were living at the Abbey. Between 771 and 1169 A.D. the Abbey was burnt 12 times.
Legend claims that the huge lintel and its west doorway, was magically placed there by St. Fechin himself on the strength of his prayers, a feat known as one of the Seven Wonders of Fore.

In the hillside above the old church of St. Fechin stands a tiny chapel, the Anchorite's Church, an extension to a cell once occupied by hermits until the 17th century. Local tradition states that the last hermit in Ireland, Patrick Beglan stayed here and is commemorated on a stone tablet in the cell.

Hugh de Lacy founded a Cistercian abbey here in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, it is one of the few surviving from this order. The east wall with its three round headed windows are original, the two towers were added in the fifteenth century.

Much remains of the claustral buildings most of which are probably of fifteenth century provenance also, although they were rebuilt in the twentieth century. On the roadside north of the abbey is the remains of a gate which formed part of a medieval town wall.

In the locality is St Fechin's mill, this was established by him around 630 AD, apparently the mill is still in operation, if this is the case it must surely be the oldest continually used mill in Ireland, if not Europe. Other saints associated with the building of mills were, St. Seanus, St. Ciaran, St. Mochua, (More Info)

See also the first water mill in Ireland.

The Nugent family gained possession of the property at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1540's it was then converted into a dwelling.

Fore Abbey
Castlepollard
Co Westmeath
Tel +353 (0)44 61780
E Mail
Web Site

Contact Peter or Jane

 

 

 

St. Fechin's Church.

 

 

This is an early Christian mortared church, the chancel was added to the original church in about 1200, and the two east windows probably about the fifteenth century. On a panel above the lintel on the west door is a Greek cross carved in relief.

Fore Abbey
Castlepollard
Co Westmeath
Tel +353 (0)44 61780
E Mail
Web Site

Across the road from Fore Abbey.

 

 

 

St. Munna's Church.

 

This small church built in the fifteenth century has been restored. Notable is the square four stories battlemented tower which probably served as the priest's accommodation. The narrow windows are decorated in the typical Gothic style of the period.

Castlepollard
Co Westmeath
Tel +353 (0)44 61780
E Mail
Web Site