St Kevin’s Church, Glendalough. County Wicklow      c. 12th century

This national monument is one of Ireland’s most iconic buildings and dates from the 12th century. St Kevin’s was born in 498 into a noble family and after studying for the priesthood set out to find his calling, follow his dream and to find God in solitude and prayer. He chose to live by the shores of the upper lake in Glendalough as a hermit in an artificial cave which was originally a Bronze Age tomb what is now called St. Kevin’s Bed. This building is described as a nave and chancel church but is also known as ‘St Kevin’s Kitchen’ due to the fact that the round tower projects upwards like a chimney. It’s roof is entirely made of stone acted as a belfry. Glendalough went on to develop as Ireland’s premier pilgrimage destinations and had a total of seven churches and a monastery. (R)