This octagonal structure is Ireland’s only surviving standalone baptistry. It covers an underground spring which leads to an open air body of water called St Catherine’s Pond. It is located on the grounds of St Dowlagh’s Church which has the oldest stone-roofed church in Ireland that’s still in use today. The oldest part of the church is medieval and dates from the 12th century but Christian activity here dates back to the time of St. Patrick and is believed to have been the site of a small monastic settlement. Very little is known of St Doulagh but it is believed that he lived in the early 7th century and was a hermit. It is said that he lived isolated, in a cell attached to the church, and had had only minimal contact with the outside world. This type of lifestyle was known as anchoritsm and was a feature of the early Christian churches in Ireland and in the Middle East.

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