Ordnance Survey Letters

by John O’Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Moyarta (c)

Story of Teampall-Meadhach

About two miles east of Carrigaholt Castle is the old ruined Church of Kill-Croine, measuring seventeen feet four inches in length and twelve feet in breadth, the walls in good preservation, about ten feet high and two feet ten inches thick.

There is a quadrangular doorway in the west gable near the south angle, measuring six feet seven inches in height and three feet in breadth on the inside, and six feet in height and three feet one inch in breadth on the outside.

The lintel stone is three feet eleven inches long and five inches thick. There are two windows in the south side, but so far dilapidated that no architectural feature remains.

The window in the east gable measures four feet three inches in height and two feet in breadth on the inside, where it has a pointed arch, and three feet seven inches in height and eight inches at top and nine inches at bottom in breadth on the outside, where the top forms a small segment of a circle. There is no cut stone to be seen in any part of the building, nor does it appear to be of any antiquity. There is a large burying ground attached to the ruin.

The Holy Well of Saint Croine is situated within the Churchyard a little to the west of the Church, at which Stations continue to be performed still, and the cure of soreness of the eyes expected in return.
They don’t know in this Parish whether Croine was the name of a man or a woman but the Irish Calendar informs us that there were four Virgins, Saints of this name, viz:- Croine, Virgin, venerated on 15th October; Croine, Virgin of Killcroine, 27th January; Croine, Virgin from Tamlacht, 25th February; Croine Beag, Virgin, 7th July.

There is a burying ground in the south side of Querin Townland called Teampall-Meadhach or Meade’s Church. This is now a popular burying place, altho’ within my own recollection no one but children and strangers would be buried in it, because it was not believed to be the site of a Church or consecrated ground. This burial place is traditionally believed to have derived its origin from the following circumstance:-

After the Battle of the Boyne, the discomfiture and dispersion of the Irish Jacobite Army, and the location of William’s soldiers of fortune on their sword-lands, those soldiers and the proscribed native Kearnes continued to harass and plunder each other for a long time, especially in the remote parts of the country. A Williamite soldier of the name of John Meade got a settlement somewhere about Miltown-Malbay, at the same time that one of Lord Clare’s Kearnes had located himself in the Wood of Querrin without the sanction or protection of the law as then established. This Kearne, who is believed to be one of the Mac Mahons, was in the habit of paying an occasional friendly visit to the cowhouses and sheepfolds of the new settlers, and among the rest he favoured the aforesaid John Meade with a visit, on which occasion he took the liberty of carrying away with him several of the fattest oxen and sheep that could be found in that neighbourhood. Meade, having discovered his loss, collected a party and warmly pursued the plunderer, who however, was able to gain his own residence before they were able to come up with him, but discovering that he was pursued he immediately collected as many of his neighbours as would join him, into his house, which he secured as well as he could and waited the coming up of the enemy. They were not long in waiting for Meade’s party to come up and without delay commenced tearing down the house, which, of course, was not a well fortified one. They soon had it stripped of its thatch and small timber, and then, jumping down into the midst of the party below a terrible conflict ensued in which victory for a long time seemed doubtful. The leaders of both parties dealt dreadful blows around them, but, of the two, Meade was the bravest man. The Kearne, seeing the havoc that Meade was making among his people, and finding him in close engagement with one of them, stole behind him and plunged a long skeen or knife into his side, at the same time dealing him such a blow as felled him to the earth. Meade, however, recovered his legs again and it is said that in his rage and writhing, he three times jumped off the floor, striking the soles of his shoes each time against a beam of timber which went across the house at the top of the wall, and then falling down, expired on the spot. The fate of the battle was then soon decided, for every man of Meade’s party was killed. The bodies were all carried to about a mile to the west, where they were buried on the brink of a little creek by the Shannon, where they remained without molestation or intrusion until within a comparatively recent period, when strangers, then still-born infants, then children, then the parents of those children, gradually were intruded on them and thus it has become now the burying place of almost all the families in its neighbourhood.

Many thanks to Michael O’Connell, Local Historian of Querrin for providing these links and stories:

http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/history/osl/moyarta3_kill_croine_old_church.htm

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