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St. Mary Church, Gowran

St. Mary Church, Gowran

southeast Ireland | County Kilkenny

The Saint Mary's Collegiate Church is situated in the centre of Gowran village in County Kilkenny. The church was built in 1225 and is believed that at that time it was the only known church in Ireland with square tower in the centre. Over the centuries many changes has undergone . In the 15th century tower was strengthened and raised, and the battlements were added. Mortuary chapel of Keally family was built in 1646, on the south side of the western nave. In the 19th century the original chancel was rebuilt and together with the tower served to local community as church until 1970's. Since then Saint Mary's Collegiate Church in Gowran has been National Monument under the care of the Gowran Development Association and OPW. The 19th century chancel and the tower are open to visitors during the summer months, from May to August. There are a number of interesting carved effigies and tombstones preserved in the tower including what may be the tombs of the 1st and 3rd Earls of Ormond. There is also a ogham stone dating from 4th or 5th century AD, which was Christianised in 6th century and the cross was carved on it. The remaining ruined section of the church and surrounding grounds are freely accessible whole year around. There is a vast array of medieval carving to be found throughout the building, including an impressive number of stone heads depicting clerics.

  • OPENING HOURS :
    • Open all year
    • Visitor Centre :
      • May - August:
        • Wed - Sun: 10.00 - 17.30
        • Last admission: 16.45
  • TICKET PRICES :
    • Free admission
  • CONTACT :
    • Phone: +353 56 772 6894
    • Phone: +353 56 772 4623
  • CAR PARK :
    • Town car park

Photos from St. Mary Church, Gowran