Kilgobbin Church

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Stepaside
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Attraction Description

The picturesque remains of Kilgobbin church stand on a prominent hill near Stepaside, on the foot of the Dublin Mountains. It was built in 1707 on an ancient pre-Norman site where a wooden church would have stood. It is reputedly the first church in Ireland to be erected after the Reformation. A rare Viking gravestone called a ‘Rathdown Slab’ was discovered on the lintel of the doorway and it is believed that Brian Boru,  stopped here on his way back to Wexford to bury his dead soldiers after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Beside the church stands the 10th century Kilgobbin High Cross which is now a National Monument. The cross was unearthed in 1800 when a new graveyard wall was being built. In more recent times, large quantities of continental pottery was also discovered when a nearby housing estate was being built. This type of pottery called ‘Belarmine’ was typically used for holding wine and was usually made in Germany between 1500 and 1600. This would indicate the wealth and importance of the community living here at the time.

 

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