It’s been a while since my last post, for various reasons I can’t get into right now. Alas, or at last, I have one right here. It’s cool, because it’s the third monastic site found around Maynooth. I’ve already mentioned the other two: Taghadoe and Donaghmore (Grangewilliam). Now I mention the final one here, Laraghbryan.
Laraghbryan is also known as Laithreach Briuin or site of the house of Brian. It gives its name to the ancient parish of the area. It once contained a castle (although we don’t know where), as there was dressed stone found in nearby fields. The church on the site is made of limstone and mortar, and is dedicated to 6th Century St. Senan who may have been a contemporary of St, Columcille. His feast day is celebrated on September 2nd ( If you wished to party).
The site is near Slighe Mor, and followed the Eiscir Riada (an ancient roadway that runs through the Irish Midlands). Records in 970 AD dhow Cellach ua Nuadhat was slain by foreigners in the doorway in his refectory. Men of Meath also burnt the oratory at Laraghbryan in 1036 and 1040.
The site is divided into the modern day Graveyard still used, and an older Graveyard containing the ruin, but still encompassing new Graves.
The church itself has enough left to show you its former use: from its general outline both inside and out, to doorways and windows, to the tower which you can still climb!
Myth and Memory: The History and Story of the Graveyards of Maynooth. Edited by Hilda Dunne, Rita Edwards, Padraig O Murchu, Fergus White.