Rahan Early Christian Monastic Site
St. Carthage 6th century
The Monastic site at Rahan has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,500 years. The church at the centre of the large circular enclosure dates to the 12th century. The Church of Ireland still hold service there. There is access to this church site across the field but please respect the farmer who has cattle and sheep in the enclosure and park on the road layby.
On the east end of this church is a circular window dating to the 12th century. With its vivid carvings it is unique in Ireland.
Its main items of interest are the Romanesque doorway and windows.
- Carvings surrounding the 15th century window on the north wall (External)
- 12th century Chancel arch is one of the masterpieces of Rahan (Internal).
It is decorated with bulbous carved bases and the capitals are carved with heads illustrating contemporary chieftains of the area with beards and curling moustaches. External face of the east gable showing a circular 13th century Romanesque window, which is unique in Ireland. It is extensively decorated including mythical beasts, human heads and possibly an exhibitionist figure.
The second church is a ruin and dates from the later medieval period. Its main items of interest are the Romanesque doorway and windows.
For further information and illustrations see the Rahan Conservation Plan