St Doulagh’s Church is Ireland’s oldest stone-roofed church that is still in use today. The complex also comprises of a stone pool-house and an octagonal structure which is also Ireland’s only surviving standalone baptistry. The oldest part of the church dates from the 12th century and is believed to have been home to a small monastic settlement. Christian activity here however dates back further to the time of St. Patrick. There is also a small Celtic cross at the entrance made from non-local granite. Very little is known of St Doulagh but it is calculated that he lived in the early 7th century and lived in the usual style as a anchorite. Anchoritism was a feature of the Celtic church and was one of many interesting points of similarity between Ireland’s early Christianity and Eastern churches. In the 19th century there was some dispute over the existence of St Doulagh some thinking that he was in fact the 10th century Viking god, Olave. However it is now known that he did exist. It was also thought that Vikings built this church however careful investigation shows the methods of construction were indigenous.

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