Aghalurcher Church

This is the site of an early church, founded probably in the 7th century by St Ronan, but the visible ruins are of the medieval parish church.This was substantial, as the foundations of the east end show, but it is badly ruined. The church was patronised by the Maguires, whose main burial place was here.

In 1447 Thomas Maguire put a ‘French roof’ (perhaps a ribbed vault) on the church and rebuilt the east gable. There are many fine gravestones, some protected in the covered vault on the north side of the church. Two 12th-century stones from the site, a slab showing a bishop with a crosier and a book,and an exhibitionist corbel, are displayed at Fermanagh County Museum in Enniskillen.

A surprising recent discovery at this site is the medieval stone carving on both of the gate pillars at the entrance to the graveyard. These include a crucifixion scene along with a number of figures carved in relief on the faces of the pillars that were formerly built into the graveyard wall. These were only discovered after the pillars were moved following the collapse of an arch that used to span the entrance to the site.

Source and mage credit: Communities NI