If you ever get the train to Maynooth, you’ll pass by this site just next to the entrance to Carton House. There are three monastic sites found around Maynooth: Donaghmore, Laraghbryan and Taghadoe. This one, Donaghmore (Domhnach Mór) is probably the earliest one of the three. There are reports that St. Patrick rested here, but didn’t he rest EVERYWHERE? St. Senan had a disciple named St. Erc and this area is associated with him.
It’s pretty overgrown inside. It’s surrounded by a low wall (that still needs to be climbed!), probably a boundary wall marking the site as sacred. There’s only one way in, and after entering it you see this modern built alter. Perhaps it’s used for Summer Masses, or such and such.
It’s really hard to give you a sense of the site because it’s so overgrown.
This graveyard and church was built much later than the monastery. The monastery didn’t survive after the 11th Century, while the church was ruined by the 14th Century. There was a big change in the church parish system and the church was a part of that before its ruinous state.
There was an Ogham stone discovered in 1902 which reads ‘Monument of Natfráich Son of the kin of Trianling’…but more on that later!
Sounces: Maynooth (Ma Nuad) by Mary Cullen
Cannonballs and Croziers: A History of Maynooth edited by John Drennan