About Kilchreest Civil Parish

Clondegad and Kilchreest parishes are now known as Ballynacally and Lissycasey with the neigbouring parishes been Kildysart, Ballyea, Kilmaley and Kilmihil. Ballynacally and Lissycasey is the one parish but are like two seperate parishes.

Kilchreest Graveyard, The united parishes of Kilchreest and Clondegad is the historical name for what is now known as the Parish of Ballynacally/Lissycasey. Kilchreest means the Church of Christ and the cemetery surrounding the ruins of the old church is now the principal burial ground in the Ballynacally area of the parish. In the foundation charter of Clare Abbey dating from 1189, Kilchrist is listed among the lands owned by the Augustinian Canons, and it was administered during the later middle ages by their monastery on Canon Island. Kilchreest was suppressed at the time of the Reformation.

The ruins in Kilchreest date from the fifteenth century and are in a well preserved state. The old church is an impressive building, even in its roofless state and it suppresses all the contemporary parish churches in West Clare. It measures 72ft 3ins long and 23ft 3ins wide. The entrance door on the south wall is pointed and has a double-oped stoup or holy water font in the right hand jamb. This feature is found in a number of late medieval churches in Clare. There is also a second narrower doorway on the same wall. The east window is pointed with two interesting shafts and is well preserved.

Four hundred and seventy six inscriptions are recorded for Kilchreest, the oldest dating to 1700 A.D. It must be noted that there were a number of inscriptions which it was impossible to decipher. It is a non-denominational cemetery as the Reverend Canon W. Waugh, Rector of Clondegad and Kildysart was buried here in 1923. Members of the Ball family of Fortfergus also lie here. Mention has to be made of the ornamentation on some graves in particular A37 and C99.

 

Parish(es) Kilchreest (Clare)
Category (ies) Heritage/Culture Local Organisation Religion Tourist Attraction