This national monument is St Mary’s Church located in the village of Gowran, co. Kilkenny. The church consists of a nave with an aisle and a long chancel and was served by a college of clerics, rather than monks, who lived in the house beside the church. The tower was added in the 14th or 15th centuries along with the battlements. In the 17th century a mortuary chapel was built on the south side of the western aisle by the Keally family. In the 19th century the chancel with the tower was converted into The Parish Church of Gowran. There are a number of interesting carved effigies and tombstones preserved in the tower including two 14th century effigies of a man and woman who are probably James Butler, the first Earl of Ormond and Lady Eleanor de Bohun. Other important artifacts include a 13th century effigy of a priest, a 16th century altar tomb of the Butlers, a cross-inscribed ogham stone and an effigy of Sabh MacMurrough-Kavanagh (daughter of the King of Leinster).

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