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Kilbennen
Cill Bheanáin
Kilbennan Church and Round Tower 2010 09 16.jpg
Monastery information
Other names Kilbannon; Kilbennan; Cell-beneoin; Dun Lughaid
Order Franciscans (15th century)
Established late 5th century AD
Disestablished 15th/16th century
Diocese Tuam
People
Founder(s) Benignus of Armagh
Architecture
Status ruined
Style Celtic
Site
Location Pollacorragune, Tuam, County Galway
Coordinates 53°32′20″N 8°53′32″W / 53.538801°N 8.892219°W / 53.538801; -8.892219Coordinates: 53°32′20″N 8°53′32″W / 53.538801°N 8.892219°W / 53.538801; -8.892219
Visible remains Church and round tower
Public access yes
National Monument of Ireland
Official name Kilbennen Church & Round Tower
Reference no. 48

Kilbennen or Kilbannon is a medieval ecclesiastical site and National Monument located in County Galway, Ireland.

Location

Kilbennen is located 3.7 km (2.3 mi) northwest of Tuam, on the far side of the River Clare.

History

The monastery here was founded by Benignus of Armagh (Benin, Benen, Bennan), a disciple of Saint Patrick, in the 5th century AD, although the Book of Armagh associates it with a different Benignus, of the Luighne Connacht. Iarlaithe mac Loga (Saint Jarlath) studied here in the 6th century.

The Annals of the Four Masters record the burning of Kilbennen in 1114. In 1148 they record the death of Ceallach Ua Domhnagain, "noble head of Cill-Beneoin."

The Franciscans built a church c. 1428.

Some conservation work was done in 1880–81.

Ruins and monuments

Kilbennan Round Tower E 2010 09 16
Round tower with doorway visible.
Kilbennan Church East Gable Interior 2010 09 16
East gable window, now blocked up.

The limestone round tower is badly damaged and stands 16.5 m (54 ft) tall at its highest point and 4.8 m (16 ft) in diameter. It has a sandstone doorway 4.56 m (15.0 ft) off the ground.

Both gables are standing on the church. The east gable had a twin-light cusped ogee-headed window.

A holy well is located to the northwest, where Bennin is said to have healed nine lepers.

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