Hospital, Church, Co. Limerick.

Location – In Hospital town, on the R513.
OS: R 706 362 (map 65)
Longitude: 8° 25' 57.85" W
Latitude: 52° 28' 35.5" N
GPS: R 70658 36091 (Accuracy: 10m)
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – This is a very nice and very interesting ruin which feels more like a castle than a church. The church was founded by Geoffrey de Marisco as a commandery of the knights Hospitallers who had owned land around Cathair Aine since 1200. The church was dissolved in 1540 and then leased, along with its contents, to William Apsley and then to the Browne family. When you look at this church you can immediately see that it was built for defence with high walls, prominent base batter and narrow arched windows. A partially destroyed tower sits at the Western end of the church with a partial barrel vault, now a grotto, on the second floor. There may be a barrel vault on the ground floor of the tower also but this was inaccessible. Also in the W wall is a medieval carving of the crucifixion which is not in its original location. There are other architectural fragments set into this wall. On the interior of the E wall are two medieval tombs, both sitting upright and not in their original location. One is a double tomb depicting a knight and his wife which is largely destroyed. The second, and largely intact tomb, may depict the founder of the church, Geoffrey de Marisco. This is a fascinating and singular ruin and well worth visiting.

Difficulty – Easy to get to with ample parking. The ruin is kept locked but the interior can be viewed from the accessible second floor shrine. I suspect the adjacent modern church has the key, but when I was there I couldn’t find anybody to ask. Maybe you will have better luck.

For more ecclesiastical sites, click here.
For more sites in Co. Limerick, click here.

The West wall.

The tower at the Western wall.

The E wall.

Most of the windows have been partially broken out.

I would love to get in there to have a proper look around.

There's a lot going on here and it's a little hard to make out what it must have been like.

The barrel vault on the first floor that now houses a shrine.

The base batter.

Architectural fragments now placed into the Western wall.

The crucifixion on the W wall.

The remaining top half of the tomb of a knight and his wife.

The tomb of the church founder, Geoffrey de Marisco.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map