Clone Church


Clone Church is a church ruins located in a field beside Clone House.

Picture of Clone House
The Romanesque parish church of Clone which is presently situated within a rectangular graveyard, although it is built upon an earlier monastic foundation dedicated to St. Aidan. The present remains of the church consist of a western gable and western part of the south wall, which survive to roof level. The other surviving walls have a maximum height of 1.5m, and the church has dimensions of 16.95m east-west by 8.3m north-south. The western doorway is lintelled with batter and chevrons on the architrave mouldings, but was originally round headed. There are seven heads and a stone with dogtooth decoration set over the door. The small graveyard contains two cross slabs, a sundial and two bullaun stones, and a third cross slab is located c.80m to the south-east of the church. A Romanesque window probably from this church was incorporated into St. Peters, the parish church of Ferns. Face corbels from the church were also incorporated into the wellhouse built in 1840, over St. Maedhogs Well (Moore 1996, 156).

Documentary evidence suggests that Clone (or Cluain, meaning meadow or pasture land) was founded by St. Aidan (Culleton 1999, 204). The cult of the saints began in Europe in the late fourth and early fifth centuries when it was thought that they were intermediaries between God and man (ibid., 75). Men and women were declared saints by virtue of their holiness and miracle working powers. Church founders were also declared saints and it was not until after 1170 that papal authority had to be obtained for declaring sainthood. Thus Ireland in the Early Christian period produced many saints. Information on the Irish saints is found in various collections of Lives written in Latin and Irish from the mid seventh century to the medieval period.

With particular reference to St. Aidan, the earliest Life dates to c.1200. It is a Latin version of an earlier Irish version which is lost. Several other later Lives also survive. In the Lives Aidan is referred to as Maedog. He was born in Co. Cavan sometime before the middle of the sixth century (ibid., 103), and may have studied in Pembrokeshire in Wales, where he was ordained. When he left Wales he came to Wexford and built his first church on land given to him by a local chief (Plummer 1922, vol. 2, 205). Over the following years he is reputed to have founded churches in Wexford at Clone, Clonmore and Clongeen, as well as Ferns (Flood 1916). Aidans death is recorded in The Annals of the Four Masters as 624 (Culleton 1999, 106).

Below you will find some additional notes on Clone Church.

Additional pictures of Clone Church and other nearby archaelogical artifacts can be found by visiting the http://www.megalithomania.com website.

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Clone House Accommodation
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Enniscorthy
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Last Updated: June 2009