St. Benan's Church was probably the oratory of a hermit because of its small size -- some say the smallest church in Ireland. It measures roughly 15 by 11 feet, and its gables are approximately 15 feet high. It dates from the 11th Century, and is dedicated to Saint Benignus, a disciple and successor of St. Patrick.
It is oriented on a North-South axis -- instead of the more common East-West axis of most religious structures -- because it was built in a particularly exposed and windy site. There is a small window on its west side. Nearby are the remains of a cashel wall, a dwelling structure, and a small beehive hut (clochan).
Down the hill below the church are the remains of a monastery -- the stump of a round tower and the remains of a Celtic cross -- that was part of the large monastic village established by St. Enda in the 6th Century.
About St. Benan's Church (Teampall Bheanain)
Oileain Arann: Teampall Bheanain
Journey to St. Benan's Church (Teampall Bheanain)
St. Benan's Church is located on a high hill above the village of Killeaney in the eastern part of the Aran Island of Inishmore in County Galway, Ireland.
Irish Antiquities: Temple Benan, Inismor, Aran
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: The Monastic School of Aran
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Benignus
Wikipedia: Benignus of Armagh
Ordnance Survey Map (L885070)
Visitors information may be found on the geograph.ie website. General tourist information may be found on this website and at the Aran Islands Tourism website.
Additional Photos of St. Benan's Church (Teampall Bheanain)
View from Below Showing Cross Remains, Round Tower Stump, and Teampall Bheanain Above
Sign at Teampall Bheanain
Teampall Bheanain and Nearby Beehive Hut (Clochan)
Close-Up of Entrance to Teampall Bheanain
Back of Teampall Bheanain
Structure Nearby Teampall Bheanain
Remains of Round Tower Below Teampall Bheanain
Remains of Celtic Cross Below Teampall Bheanain
Dabhach Einne, Well in Monastic Village below Teampall Bheanain
Area of Monastic Village of St. Enda Below Teampall Bheanain