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St Colmcille's House


Close by the graveyard of St. Columba's church stands a small stoned roofed Oratory (St. Columcille's House). This probably dates from the 11th century. There are of course differing views about its purpose; some feel it was a scriptorium (writing room) and others that it was a simple dwelling for a monk. Apparently it formerly contained St Colmcille's Bed, a stone block on which the saint is believed to have slept. Access to the ? monks' sleeping accommodation aloft is by a (modern) ladder. The Oratory is kept locked; access arrangements are listed below. For access to the oratory, walk a short way down the hill to Mrs Carpenter's House; she has the key and can offer a brief guide to the Oratory. As ever, there is good literature available in the Tourist Office.

A short distance outside the town is the Tower of Loyd , which you may have noticed on arrival. Interestingly enough, a few years ago a new souterrain* was unearthed by the plough in a field on a site some 2 miles outside the town. Funds would be needed to excavate and display this new treasure, which will remain CLOSED for the foreseeable future, apart from during the Festival.

*From the French (under the earth)...an underground passage....probably used for storage.........and perhaps as a refuge. Such things were common enough in Rath style settlements in mediaeval Ireland. No gold chalices or Celtic jewellery.

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