Old to the New: Parishioners Walk to Church to Mark Clonakilty 400

On Sunday last, 21st July 2014, the parishioners of Kilgariffe Union (based in the town of Clonakilty, County Cork and the surrounding region) walked to Morning Service, from the old, ruined Kilgariffe Church to today’s Kilgariffe Parish Church.  For this historical walk more than 120 parishioners led by the rector the Reverend Daniel Owen, were joined by representatives of Clonakilty Town Council led by the Mayor Cllr. Phil O’Regan, representatives of Dúchas (The Heritage Service) and the Clonakilty 400 Committee.

The walk marked 400th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the town of Clonakilty.  At the site of the old church a talk was given by Tomás Tuipéar.

Here is a gallery of photos of the day:

The Reverend Daniel Owen explains the historical background:

When Clonakilty was set up in the early sixteen hundreds, church life moved from the ancient Kilgarriffe to the current site. Historians believe this was the site of the Clogh ny Kylte castle recorded in 1367; it would have been usual to have a church or chapel of ease attached to such a castle. The castle of Clogh ny Kylte didn’t survive the many battles of the time but it is possible that the chapel attached to it did.

In 1605 settlers are recorded here and called the ‘Portreve and Corporation of Cloughnakilty’. Their place of worship is not known but when the charter of 1613 was granted, the limits of the borough were measured from this place and referred to as ‘the old chapel’.

Richard Boyle, who was made lord of the town, is credited with building a church for worship on this site in 1613, then In 1615, James Worth is recorded as Vicar.

The next reference is in 1663 when the inhabitants of the parishes of Island, Kilkerranmore, Desert and Ardfield were united by commission to repair the church of Cloghnikilty – 139 years later in 1802, the building was re-roofed and a gallery added. Then in 1818 it was taken down and the present church erected on the site at a cost of £1,300. Today’s church contains a chalice (which was on display last Sunday)  with the following inscription ‘This cup was made in the year 1636. Humphrey Jobson Esq. and John Baker, gentleman, being church wardens.

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