Laraghbryan

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!

References:

Myth and Memory: The History and Story of the Graveyards of Maynooth. Edited by Hilda Dunne, Rita Edwards, Padraig O Murchu, Fergus White.

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Know Your History 3 Revealed

So earlier I asked where you would find this place.

Andy Neil wins for his correct answer (though Leanie was a close second!) of location- it is indeed found by the harbour on the road that runs down to the roost, or here if that doesn’t make sense. It’s not an old minister’s house however, but a good guess.

It’s a house called Geraldine Hall. Originally built in 1702, a later building was built by the Duke of Leinster in 1770 before it was demolished and a new front built in 1859 as a Church of Ireland Parish school. One of its main objectives was to convert Catholic students into Protestants ( so I’m told), but this it failed to do. It continued as a school until it closed around 1935. It then became a social club and it was extended at the back in 1941. Later it was used by the CYMA but now its held in trust for the use of the people of Maynooth (THAT’S US!).

 

Sounces:  Maynooth (Ma Nuad) by Mary Cullen

Cannonballs and Croziers: A History of Maynooth edited by John Drennan