Sunday, 10 July 2011
Old Palmerstown Church Co Dublin
Valley towards Chapelizod
Situated just off Mill Lane in Palmerstown Lower, this interesting old ruin lies deep in undergrowth and almost forgotten.
The Church was first recorded in annals in 1220 as belonging to the Prior of St John the Baptist without Newgate. The Church however certainly dates back at least 200 years more and is a good example of its type, a simple Nave and Chancel. It's original name was Stacgory.
The roof long disappeared has left the sturdy walls and Bell Tower intact but little more. It has some interesting stonework on it's arches and it is surrounded by an ancient graveyard which demonstrates that it was still in use as a burial ground until the mid 1700's.
The Church is overlooked by an area called the Clump Field which itself is a prehistoric Ring Barrow and from one of the surrounding walls of the Church there is a fine view of the Liffey Valley.
It was not difficult to find the Church. We parked at the elbow turn of Mill Lane just past the local Palmerstown football grounds. We were a bit dismayed to see a tall rusting fence impeding our way with a large sign saying Trespassers will be prosecuted as land owned by a developer. The state of the fence and sign indicated to us that this developer may have fallen on hard times as the site beyond is so overgrown it is akin to Jurassic Park!
We discovered a kind of access gate in the left hand corner of the fence and so decided to have a quick look. A short walk along a sort of trail led us to the ruin. The silence in this place was almost deafening. There is a definite creepy atmosphere to the ruin and one of the local stories is that it is haunted the ghost of a man stabbed to death here sometime in the past. After a while whether it was this thought in mind or the fact that we might be caught trespassing led us to leave briskly.
To find the Church ruin take the N4 exit for Palmerstown (now rejigged to Palmerston) and at the first set of traffic lights take a left turn into the Village. At the T-junction in the Village turn right and then take the left hand turn onto Mill Lane. You can park at the sharp right elbow turn at the top of this road and you will see the fence to your left. Enter at your own risk, although We did see some locals enter after we left.