St Catherine’s Church & Graveyard, Portrane

St Catherine’s Church & Graveyard, Portrane

Photo credit: St Catherine’s Church & Graveyard courtesy of Mark Broderick

St Catherine’s Church is medieval situated in a  small walled graveyard, with views to the Dublin coastline and Lambay Island. To the west of the undivided nave and chancel is a tower with stepped battlements typical of the 15th century. After the dissolution of the monasteries the nuns of Grace Dieu retained the rectory of Portrane until 1577. Hampden, Margaret, George, and Sophia Evans of Portrane Demesne are buried in the graveyard. Archaeological excavation at the graveyard prior to installing lighting uncovered medieval and post-medieval pottery and fragments of flint and shell. A possible bullaun stone was identified within the ground floor of the tower in 1992. The purpose of bullaun stones, which are associated with early medieval ecclesiastical sites, is unclear but folklore has it that women sometimes 'cured' people by rolling the stones. In 2021 Fingal County Council undertook conservation works at St Catherine’s Church.

Ruin of church building with tower with graveyard

Photo credit: St Catherine’s Church, courtesy of Mark Broderick

Did you know….

If you look up there are small carved heads on two walls of the tower.

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