Killursa Church Ruins, near Headford in County Galway, is an ancient site that dates back to medieval times, and possibly even earlier. The name Killursa comes from the Irish ‘Cill Fhursa’, meaning “the church of Fursa”. Fursa was a 7th century saint who founded a monastery here, and was renowned for his visions and miracles. He later left Ireland and travelled to England and France, where he continued his missionary work and founded other monasteries. He is regarded as one of the most influential Irish saints in Europe, and his feast day is celebrated on January 16th.

The current structure of the church is thought to date from the 12th or 13th century, after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. It has a gothic pointed doorway and a large mullioned gothic window, which indicate its late medieval style. The church measures about 21 meters by 7 meters, and has a stone altar at the east end. The walls are made of limestone blocks, some of which have carvings and inscriptions on them. The church was probably used until the 17th or 18th century, when it fell into ruin.

The graveyard around the church is also very old, and contains many interesting gravestones and monuments. Some of them are carved with Celtic crosses, symbols, and inscriptions in Irish, Latin, and English. Some of the graves date from the 18th and 19th centuries, and belong to local families and clergy. There is also a heart-shaped graveyard within the main graveyard, which is believed to be the original site of St Fursa’s monastery. It is said that St Fursa’s relics were buried here, until they were moved to France in the 11th century.

Killursa Church Ruins are not only a historical attraction, but also a spiritual one. They are a place of pilgrimage for many people who come to pay their respects to St Fursa and his legacy. They are also a place of tranquility and beauty, where you can enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside. The site is well maintained by the local community, who have erected signs and information boards to explain its history and features. There is also a car park nearby, where you can leave your vehicle and walk to the site.

Killursa Church Ruins are a testament to Ireland’s rich cultural and religious heritage, and a reminder of the lives and stories of the people who lived here centuries ago. If you are looking for something different and off the beaten track, you should definitely visit Killursa Church Ruins.


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Killursa Church



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