Categories of Special Interest
Archaeological, Architectural, Artistic, Social
1600 - 1800
Freestanding three-bay single cell former Church of Ireland church, built c. 1600. In use during the eighteenth century, now derelict. Roof missing with recently replaced eaves course. Rubble sandstone walls, recently repointed, with roughly dressed sandstone quoins to the corners. Pointed arch window openings to nave having dressed limestone surrounds with hoodmouldings. Lancet window opening to east gable with dressed limestone surround with hood moulding. Pointed arch window openings to west gable and set high in east gable with dressed limestone surrounds. Pointed arch door opening to the west end of the south elevation having dressed limestone surround with hoodmoulding, and with wrought-iron gate. Vault holding caskets to interior of church. Located to the west of Castle Forbes (13303001) in wooded area within estate demesne. Church surrounded by graveyard with collection of upstanding and recumbent grave markers of mainly eighteenth century date. Paired wrought-iron gates to south of site. Bullaun stone (LF008-01102-) to site. Church was in ruins by c. 1820.
This robust ruinous church, of indeterminable date (probably late medieval), is an important element of the Castle Forbes (13303001) complex. The modest form of the building is enhanced by the dressed limestone surrounds to the openings, which contrasts with the rubble sandstone construction of the walls and creates textural variation. The heads to the window and door openings may be later additions, perhaps added by the Forbes family to create a ‘romantic’ ruin/eye-catcher within the demesne grounds. The vault to the interior of the church is probably associated with the Forbes family, adding additional historical importance to this site. The site of the church is considerable enhanced by the collection of interesting and well-crafted cut stone grave markers, some of which are of artistic merit. The majority of the legible inscriptions to the grave markers date to the eighteenth century. There are also a number of roughly-hewn uninscribed grave markers. The simple iron entrance gates to the southeast complete the setting of this interesting site, which forms an important part of an extensive collection of sites associated with Castle Forbes (13303001), and is an integral element of the architectural and archaeological heritage of the Newtown-Forbes area. This church is thought to be an earlier parish church serving Clonguish and it may be the site of the church that is thought to have been founded in this vicinity by St. Ailither (Archaeological Survey). There are a number of archaeological sites to this location, including a bullaun stone (LF008-01102-), for the church (LF008-01101-) and for the graveyard (LF008-011003-).