Leitir Lugna (Letter), Church and Holy Well, Co. Offaly.

Location – Near the village of Cadamstown and signposted. The architectural fragments are cemented into the front of the Cadamstown church.
Church and holy well co-ordinates:
OS: N 231 076 (map 54)
Longitude: 7° 39' 17.82" W
Latitude: 53° 7' 6.55" N

Architectural fragments co-ordinates:
OS: N 228 086 (map 54)
Longitude: 7° 39' 33.69" W
Latitude: 53° 7' 38.95" N
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – When I saw that the site was signposted and that there was an information board my hopes began to rise that this might be something special and I was very very disappointed.  There is very little left. Normally that wouldn’t bother me, I’m use to it, but when there’s a build up it’s disheartening.  I think that the only reason that it is signposted is that it’s near Cadamstown which is a popular tourist destination.  On the plus side it is great to see lesser known sites being looked after, although it could do with a little more care.

A church was found here by St. Lugna in the 6th century and the site was chosen because it is situated at the crossroads of the Slighe Mor and Slighe Dala which were two of ancient Ireland’s four major roads.  In 1473 the church was home to a priest called Conchobhar O hOgain who was accused of neglecting the church and selling certain assets. He also kept a concubine in the church with whom he fathered a son.  

All that remains of the church today are the mound it was situated on and a small wall fragment with a window and the springers for a barrel vault which would have been the priest’s quarters.  The surrounding land around the knoll is very marshy.  The nearby holy well is known as ‘Toberlugna’ and is visited on 27th April.  It has been recently conserved and modern enclosure with the face of saint has been erected over the site.  I couldn’t get very close to the well because of the marshy conditions.  At Cadamstown church are two medieval stone faces that have been inserted into the front of the building. These fragments came from Leitir Lugna.

Difficulty – Easy enough to get to since it is signposted but it can be boggy after heavy rain.

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

 As you enter the field, this is the view of the mound and church remains.

  As you can see there isn't much left here.

I really think this could collapse any day.

Partially blocked up window.

Stone from the church litters the ground.

The remains of a lost building.

The site as viewed from the rear.

The holy well...a little blurry.

The face of the saint.

The architectural fragments at Cadamstown church. They are place either side of a window above the entrance.

This is the more weathered of the two faces.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map