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Ceann Trá/ Ventry

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An Baile Riabhach - Teampall Mhancháin nó an Teampall Geal. ©Isabel Bennet View. ©Isabel Bennet Cloch Og beag. ©Isabel Bennet

An Baile Riabhach - Teampall Mhancháin nó an Teampall Geal (Monastic Site)

 

An Baile Riabhach - Teampall Mhancháin  an Teampall Geal 

 

This monastic site, from which there is a magnificent view to the east, south and west, is one of our National Monuments and is well worth visiting seeking out and visiting, particularly on a fine day.  It is situated to the north of Ceann Trá (Ventry), off the small roads between it and the Bóthar Fada from Dingle towards Baile an Fheirtéaraigh (Ballyferriter, on the lower east slopes of Leataoibh Mór  

 

A field wall follows the line of the original enclosure wall to the back of the site (up hill) and within the enclosure are the remains of a Gallarus-type oratory, an ogham stone, some cross-inscribed stones and also a sunken chamber/souterrain.  There are also foundations that may belong to other early structures, or may be related to a later use of the site, when the population density of Corca Dhuibhne was many times higher than it is today.  A holy well is also to be found nearby. 

 

The oratory or church survives to above lintel height, although much of it may be rebuilt, and has a shelf in the north wall.  Several of the stones built into the wall of the church contain simple inscribed crosses – see can you find them!  There are miscellaneous carved fragments within the oratory, and a finial has been restored on top of the west gable. The graveyard to the north of the church, which contains three cross-inscribed stones, was used as a children’s burial ground into the 19th century.   

 

The ogham stone, reputedly marking the grave of St Manchán, contains the inscription QENILOCI MAQI MAQI-AINIA MUC…. (Qeniloci the son of the son of Ainia, the son of….)  There are also simple crosses on both faces of the stone. 

 

On Easter Sunday, at dawn, Mass is celebrated at this site in a tradition that goes back many, many years. 

 

 

Ceann Trá/ Ventry