COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL, KILMALLOCK, COUNTY LIMERICK, 1963

A VIEW OF THE RUINS OF THE COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL IN KILMALLOCK IN COUNTY LIMERICK IN ABOUT 1963. THE CHURCH WAS BUILT IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY ON THE SITE OF AN EARLIER MONASTERY REPUTED TO HAVE BEEN FOUNDED BY SAINT MOCHEALLÓG IN THE EARLY SEVENTH CENTURY (KILLMALLOCK’S NAME DERIVES FROM THE IRISH ‘CILL MOCHEALLÓG’ MEANING ‘THE CHURCH OF MOCHEALLÓG’). IN THE NORTHWEST CORNER IS A TOWER WHICH INCORPORATES THE STUMP OF A ROUND TOWER FROM THE EARLIER MONASTERY. THE CHURCH HAS AN AISLED NAVE, A SOUTH TRANSEPT WITH AN ELABORATE THIRTEENTH-CENTURY DOOR ON THE NORTH WALL, AND A CHANCEL WHERE THE ALTAR WAS SITED. THE CHURCH WAS SUBSTANTIALLY ALTERED IN THE EARLY FIFTEENTH CENTURY AND WAS DEDICATED TO SAINT PETER AND SAINT PAUL IN ABOUT 1410. AROUND THIS TIME, IT WAS ALSO GRANTED COLLEGIATE STATUS, A TYPE OF GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE SIMILAR TO THAT OF A CATHEDRAL WHICH ENSURED IT WAS SERVED BY A COMMUNITY OF CLERICS, RATHER THAN MONKS WHO FOLLOWED A SPECIFIED MONASTIC RULE. THE CHURCH WAS PARTLY DESTROYED DURING THE CROMWELLIAN INVASION IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY BUT HAS RECENTLY UNDERGONE SUBSTANTIAL RESTORATION WORK TO ENSURE CONTINUED PUBLIC ACCESS TO WHAT IS NOW A PROTECTED NATIONAL MONUMENT.

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