Killagha Abbey and White Church
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A little known abbey and ruins of an old church in a romantic setting near Milltown, Co. Kerry.
The cache was a Micro for some years but has now been replaced by a small box. There is no need to interfere with anything inside the graveyard or church - cache is placed outside!
Directions: Turn off the N70 just outside Milltown, signposted "Fearann na Mainistreach / ABBEYLANDS" and park at the supplied parking co-ordinates.
Killagha Priory and White Church Cemetery are two little gems just off the main Tralee-Killorglin (N70) road. Together they make for a nice diversion in a peaceful setting. The cache is hidden near White Church, but we strongly suggest that you visit nearby Killagha Abbey, too (waypoint supplied below).
Killagha Augustinian Abbey
The Abbey was erected on the site of an older monastery of St. Colman some time after 1216 by Geoffrey de Marisco for the Canons Regular of St. Augustine and dedicated to Our Blessed Lady. In 1302 it was the third richest monastery in the Diocese of Ardfert, and its Prior was a Lord of Parliament. Only the church, with a single long nave, remains. The windows, doors and niches of sandstone are of 13th century date, while the limestone work, including the fine east window, was inserted in the 15th century. The Abbey was suppressed in 1576 and the domestic buildings to the south were destroyed by Cromwell's soldiers.
This is a well-hidden ruin and a delight to visit. The mostly protestant graveyard was in use from the mid-18th century, but no burials take place here anymore. The origins of White Church are unknown. It may be related to nearby Killagha Abbey, but this is not certain. The current structure (in ruins) was probably built on the foundations of an earlier church. A description from 1753 notes "this church is in ruins but appears to be very ancient". The church was rebuilt around 1770, but quickly fell into disreapair with the bankruptcy of the local landlord in 1793 and was abandoned in 1810. We love the secluded setting and peaceful atmosphere.