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36 Churches to explore in Leinster


Leinster is one of the provinces of Ireland, situated in the southeast and east of Ireland. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has prompted further sub-division of the historic counties.

St Aidan's Cathedral
St Aidan's CathedralCathedral St, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland

A majestic cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns, which was located in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, in Ireland. The saint to whom the cathedral is dedicated is Máedóc of Ferns, also known as Áedan or Aidan, who died in 626, and not to be confused with St. Aidan of Lindisfarne , an Irish missionary who died in 651. Notable features include the façade, a reredos carved from Caen stone and a great north window with intricate stone tracery.

St Brigid's Shrine
St Brigid's ShrineFaughart Upper, Co. Louth, Ireland

According to tradition, Saint Brigid was born at Fochard Muirtheimne, about 450 AD. The place was later known as Fochard Bríde. The site is of ancient origin and would seem to have begun during her lifetime. Brigid's cult grew to a status second only to that of Patrick, and to the Irish she was known as Mary of the Gael.

St Doulagh's Church
St Doulagh's ChurchSaintdoolaghs, St Doolaghs, Co. Dublin, Ireland

St Doulagh's Church was previously home to a Medieval monastic settlement. St Doulagh, who was a hermit, founded the monastic settlement in the 7th century at this site. It is the oldest stone-roofed church still in use in Ireland and it is located in Kinsealy. The original portion of the building is 48 feet by 18 feet, with a double roof of rough stone set with cement. The original walls are three feet thick. The battlemented square tower was added in the 15th Century.

St. Brigid's Cathedral & Round Tower
St. Brigid's Cathedral & Round TowerMarket Square, Kildare, Co. Kildare, Ireland

St Brigid’s Cathedral stands on the site where Saint Brigid founded a nunnery in the 5th century. The entire site is steeped in important religious history; it’s believed to be the location at which Saint Brigid, one of Ireland’s patron saints, founded a nunnery in the 5th century.

St. Columba's Church
St. Columba's ChurchTownparks, Kells, Co. Meath, A82 AY20, Ireland

St Columba’s Church is one of County Meath’s most important religious sites, as it marks the location of the original monastery of Kells and Ireland’s principal Columban community during medieval times. The church marks the location of the town’s original monastery, established in the early middle ages after the High King of Ireland gave Columba the fort of Kells to set up a religious community.

St. Francis Abbey
St. Francis AbbeySaint Francis Abbey Brewery, 31 Parliament St, Gardens, Kilkenny, R95 ETY5, Ireland

This is a medieval Franciscan abbey and National Monument. Founded in the 13th century by Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke. It is located in the northeast of Kilkenny's historic Hightown district, behind the old Smithwick's brewery site, immediately south of the point where the Breagagh River enters the Nore.

St. Iberius church
St. Iberius churchFerrybank South, Wexford, Co. Wexford, Ireland

St Iberius church is found in the heart of Wexford Town. It was designed by Waterford's renowned architect John Roberts and features a late-Georgian style. The Anglican house of worship was built in the 18th century and features a late-Georgian style interior and 19th-century Venetian Renaissance exterior.

St. John's Church of Ireland
St. John's Church of IrelandJohn St, Gardens, Kilkenny, Ireland

This is a medieval Augustinian abbey and National Monument located in Kilkenny City, Ireland. The Lady Chapel of the Abbey is now used as a parish church of the Church of Ireland. The roofless remains of the chancel of the old priory church with a seven-light east window. Inside the ruins are late mediaeval tombs including the altar tomb of a Purcell couple with carvings of the Crucifixion and the Apostles.

St. Mary's Abbey, Trim
St. Mary's Abbey, TrimTrim, Co. Meath, Ireland

St. Mary's Abbey in Trim, County Meath, Ireland is a former house of Augustinian canons dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The abbey was situated on the north bank of the River Boyne, opposite Trim Castle, on land given to St. Patrick who is often credited with founding the abbey. The abbey was a prominent pilgrimage site, famous for the healing power of its statue of the Virgin Mary, until its dissolution under Henry VIII during the Reformation.

St. Mary's Collegiate Church Gowran
St. Mary's Collegiate Church GowranGowran, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland

This church is a wonderful building, which was built in the late thirteenth century as a collegiate church and was served by a college - clerics who lived in a community but did not submit to the rule of a monastery. This rectangular church has undergone many changes over the years. The original chancel was removed and replaced by a 19th century Parish Church, the superb central tower was vastly modified in the 14th or 15th century and the crenellations were added to the church.

St. Mel's Cathedral
St. Mel's CathedralDeanscurragh, Longford, Ireland

St. Mel's Cathedral is a landmark building in Longford. It is the main historical attraction of the town overlooking all roads leading into Longford. It was erected in the 19th century. It is built from grey limestone with a lofty steeple and can be seen from a distance outside the town. The cathedral has been tastefully restored to its original beauty while being remodelled as a living church for a new century.

St. Peter's Parish, Drogheda
St. Peter's Parish, DroghedaWest St, Downtown Drogheda, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church is located on West Street, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. Designed by J. O'Neill and W.H. Byrne and built in the French Gothic style of local limestone ashlar in 1884. The church is famous for its tall west gable, rose window and for containing the national shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett. It is one of the most notable buildings on West Street in the town centre of Drogheda. The building from 1793 was partly incorporated into the present building.

THE BLACK ABBEYGardens, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland

The Black Abbey of Kilkenny, Ireland, is a Catholic priory of the Dominican Order, dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Black Abbey was established in 1225 as one of the first houses of the Dominican Order in Ireland.The history of the Black Abbey is marked by several reversals of fortune under different governments.

The Grey Abbey
The Grey AbbeyGrey Abbey Rd, Kildare, Ireland

Grey Abbey is a ruined abbey in County Kildare, Ireland. It was run by Franciscan friars. It was founded in 1260 by William de Vesci, however it was completed by Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Offaly. Gerald FitzGerald, 5th Earl of Kildare was buried here.

Tintern Abbey
Tintern AbbeySaltmills, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland

This Cistercian monastery was founded c. 1200 by William, Earl Marshal on lands held through his marriage to the Irish heiress, Isabella de Clare. Between 1982 and 2007, the National Monuments service of the Office of Public Works undertook a number of excavation and heritage development efforts at the abbey.

Trim Cathedral
Trim CathedralSan Loman's St, Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland

Trim Cathedral, is an Anglican building in the town of Trim in County Meath. Although austere in appearance on the outside, the building is a gem on the inside. Previously the cathedral of the Diocese of Meath, it is now one of two cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Meath and Kildare which is part of the ecclesiastical province of Dublin.

Map of Churches to explore in Leinster