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CIIC 28. Churchclara I, Co. Kilkenny

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© 2017-01-03

© 2017-01-03

National Monuments Service Record Number: KK020-017003-

Site Type




'Clara is clearly a pre-Norman foundation as indicated by the antae (projecting side walls) on the chancel. There is a holy well nearby and two bullaun stones are associated with the site. According to Carrigan the church was dedicated to a St Colmán whose feast day was 16 October. The Martyrology of Oengus (written around AD 800) records a St Colmán of Cell Ruaid (Kilroot, Co Antrim) on that date. A list of homonymous saints in the Book of Leinster and other manuscripts has reference to a Colmán Cláraig, but has no other information about him. This is most likely to be the Clara in question, the only place of the name with a definite pre-Norman chirch and the only civil parish of the name in the country. In addition its former importance is indicated by the fact that it gave its name to one of the deaneries of the medieval diocese. The Ségéne of Clárach, whose death is recorded in 749 is likely to have been connected with this church' (Manning and Moore 1997, 370-371) .


Sandstone, 1.57m x 0.20m (Converted from Macalister 1945, 33). 'Built into the outer face of the E. wall of the ruined church, beneath the E. window, and now partly concealed by a modern tombstone erected against the wall... the top of the stone is broken off, and the first angle is spalled' (Macalister 1945, 33-4).


The inscription is 'chisel-cut', up one angle and down the other. Macalister (1945, 34) also notes that 'in the first line the greater part of the letters SEG are now diffcult to see by reason of the intrusive tombstone: in the second line the H-half of the R is flaked away'. The ends of the S scores can be seen but nothing of the E or G. None of the vowels are clear. Macalister's final -BO is particularly unclear.




'of Tadcán [son of] the descendant of Mac-Corb?'


  • The name TASEGAGNI (if the interpretation is correct) has been suggested by Ziegler (1994, 34, 234) to be an early form of the name Tadcán (diminutive of Tadc, Tadg) meaning 'poet'. The kin group name is uncertain.



Built into the east wall of the ruined church (Macalister 1945, 33-4) in the townland of Churchclara and barony of Gowran. The location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (Publicly accessible. GPS coordinates -7.145972, 52.655460)



Last recorded

On site in the position in which it was discovered.

History of Recording

Macalister (1945, 33) gives the earliest reference for this stone as by 'Prim' in 1869. In 2017 both stones were recorded in 3d using photogrammetry and in June 2020 digitised here as an action of the County Kilkenny Heritage Plan Programme, funded by the Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council and the Heritage Council.


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