St Mary’s Collegiate Church is one of the oldest Christian sites in Ireland, as it is thought to have been home to a monastic settlement of St Declan of Ardmore in the 5th century. It is found in the coastal town of Youghal, County Cork.
St Mary’s College Church, a national monument, sits on land with great ecclesiastical history. The site was devoted to religious worship in pre-Christian times and is thought to have been the monastic settlement of St Declan of Ardmore in the 5th century.
The beautiful church was constructed from blue, grey and grey stone and takes the shape of a cross. Its Great Nave was rebuilt in the Hiberno-Romanesque style and erected in 1220. Recent radio-carbon dating on wood samples in the Church place the roof in the middle of the 13th Century (AD1223-AD1281). These findings prove that St. Mary’s has the oldest radiocarbon dated roof structure of any Church in Ireland!
Find out about the impact Sir Richard Boyle, Cromwell and Sir Walter Raleigh had on Youghal in medieval times.
See a scaled model of Youghal as a medieval town. The model will introduce children and families to the world of medieval Youghal through an almost life-like model. It was based on a map of Youghal in 1558 which was set out in the recently published ‘Youghal Atlas’ produced by The Royal Academy of Ireland.
There is also a graveyard trail.
Church services take place every Wednesday at 10.30am and every Sunday at 11.30am. Guided tours are available.