Roscrea, Romanesque Church, Co, Tipperary.

Location – In the centre of Roscrea opposite the round tower and next to the high cross. The remains are located in the grounds of a modern Protestant church. 
OS: S138 895. (map 60)
Longitude: 7° 47' 40.7" W
Latitude: 52° 57' 22.15" N
GPS: S 13785 89406 (Elevation: 91m - Accuracy: 7m) 

Description and History – This site is by far my favourite in Roscrea, which may seem odd considering it is the most ruined, but the remaining wall is a fantastic  example of the Romanesque style.  The church dates to the 12th century and is dedicated to St Cronan.  Unfortunately, when the modern Protestant church was built in 1812 the church was demolished and the material used to construct the new church.  What remains is the highly decorated W gable and a very short portion of the nave wall. The doorway consists of three overlapping arches decorated with triangular relief carvings.  Either side of the doorway are two blind archways (blind meaning that they are closed) which are also decorated with triangular relief carving and chevrons.  Many weathered faces can be seen protruding from the wall.  The bellcote is still intact at the apex of the W gable.

As nice as this wall is I fear that it will deteriorate rapidly as it is located directly on the road site and the soft sandstone wall is clearly covered in residue from car exhaust.  The weathering on the carved faces shows how subject to deterioration this site is.  Restoration and conservation work is necessary on this site to help preserve what remains of the historic town of Roscrea.

Difficulty – Easy to find in Roscrea...just head for the round tower which can be seen from quite a distance.  Be careful though as the church call is the road edge on a blind corner so be very careful as you cross the road to the site.

For more Romanesque churches, click here.
For more sites in and around Roscrea, click here.
For more sites in Co. Tipperary, click here.

The wonderful, albeit weathered, archway.

One of the blind arches.

The interior of the gable with the round tower in the background.

One of the carved faces.  The nose and ear is still visible.