Saints and Stones: St. Flannan's Oratory

St. Flannan's Oratory is named, as is the cathedral adjacent to it, after that saint who became the first bishop of Killaloe in 639 A.D. An early 12th-Century (ca. 1100 A.D.) Romanesque church (occasionally referred to as Brian Boru's Vault) once had a chancel, now destroyed, at its east end.

It is one of a small number of Irish churches with a stone roof and is possibly the oldest surviving church in Ireland built in the Romanesque style.

The entrance is through a doorway in the west gable which is relatively plain except for the moulding and the capitals of the columns, one of which is carved with two animals sharing a single head, and the other bearing foliate decoration. Doorways such as this one are to be found in England.

About St. Flannan's Oratory

Irish Antiquities: St. Flannan's Oratory
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Killaloe
Clare County Library: Killaloe
Clare County Library: Saint Flannan (Seventh Century)

Journey to St. Flannan's Oratory

St. Flannan's Oratory is adjacent to Killaloe Cathedral and is located on the R463 in the River Shannon town of Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland. Killaloe is connected to the town of Ballina across the river by a one-way bridge.

Map Reference: R705729 approx.

Visitors Information

Visitors information for Killaloe may be found at the Ireland Midwest Online website. General tourist information may be found at the County Clare Tourism website.

Additional Photos of St. Flannan's Oratory

Descriptive Sign at St. Flannan's Oratory
National Monument Sign for St. Flannan's Oratory
Front of St. Flannan's Oratory
Interior of St. Flannan's Oratory
Side of St. Flannan's Oratory
Rear of of St. Flannan's Oratory

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