St. Begnets Ruin

St. Begnets

The ivy covered ruins of Saint Begnet’s Church stand beside Goat Castle on Dalkey’s main street, and are surrounded by a small graveyard. This granite church, named after the seventh century, Saint Begnet, dates back to the Early Christian period. It is very likely that the granite church was preceded by a wooden church of some discription.The present St Begnetโ€™s Church dates back to at least the tenth century. The Belfry has twin bells which were struck by hand. The Chancel & Chancel Arch are believed to have been added in 13th century. The Church was reported to be roofless by 1630.The Graveyard may have been used since the thirteenth century but the early graves are not marked.Names of those buried from the 1700s to 1900s can be found on the Map in the Heritage Centre.

St. Begnets (4)

St. Begnets (5)

The story of St Begnet who became the Patron Saint Of Dalkey is as follows.ย Begnet was an Irish princess who lived in the 7th century. According to legend, when she was a child, an Angel appeared to her and asked her to devote her life to the service of God. She did so, and the Angel gave her a bracelet, marked with the sign of the cross, as a symbol of her vocation.As a young women, Her parents arranged a marriage for her to the son of the King of Norway. But still dedicated to the vows she had taken, Begnet had no wish to take a husband. To avoid this arranged marriage, she left home, taking with her the bracelet given to her by the Angel. She found passage in a small boat and sailed to Northumbria on the north west coast of England.There she was received into the Church by Bishop Aidan and became the first abbess of nuns. Her convent was constantly plundered by pirates, so after several years Begnet moved inland towards Cumberland.After her death, the bracelet became and object of profound veneration. By the twelfth century, accusers and accused were asked to swear their testimony on the bracelet, in the knowledge that a terrible fate would await anyone who dared to swear a falsehood on this sacred relic:”Whosoever forswore himself upon her bracelet swiftly incurred the heaviest punishment of perjury – a speedy death”Begnet gave her name to the two ancient churches in the Dalkey area, one on Dalkey Island and one in Dalkey town.

St. Begnets (2) St. Begnets (3)

Unfortunatly you can only access the grounds of the church via a guided tour from the heritage center in Goat Castle next door. But with two historical sites and an entertaining tour included, its not so bad. You can check out their website Dalkey Castle

St. Begnets (1)

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About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
This entry was posted in Castles, Diary of a Ruinhunter, Historical, Medieval, Photography, Places of Interest, Ruins and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to St. Begnets Ruin

  1. Mikels Skele says:

    Nice! How did you get the bird’s-eye view in the first image?


  2. Majka says:

    great pictures Ed and thanks for your liking ๐Ÿ™‚ Iยดm always glat of your visiting


  3. sarahcolliver says:

    Great pictures and interesting information as usual! Many thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. cd1972 says:

    Great pictures! You have some great places there!


  5. Sue Karski says:

    Enjoyed the photos and thank you very much for the history information.


  6. Ed I love, love, love this. It gives me the warm and fuzzies โค


  7. Jo Woolf says:

    I wonder what happened to St Begnet’s bracelet? I would love to have seen it. What a lovely site and a lovely story!


  8. Jo Woolf says:

    I wonder what happened to St Begnet’s bracelet? I would love to have seen it. What a lovely place and a lovely story!


  9. Jo Woolf says:

    What a beautiful place and a lovely story! I wonder what became of St Begnet’s bracelet?


  10. Rita Biggs says:

    Great photos Ed ~ I live in Dalkey and recently enjoyed taking family from abroad on the heritage centre tour. It is a lovely way to spend an hour or so. It would be great if your beautiful pictures could be made into cards/postcards for sale in the centre. ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Neat photos. Also, old cemeteries are rather fascinating to me for some reason. And thanks for liking my butterfly photo.


  12. thomas peck says:

    Great story about St Begnet. And I love the names, Begnet, Dalkey and “Goat Castle”. Good stuff!


  13. Evelyn says:

    Wonderful photos of the ruins Ed. Now I have an alternative name for Dalkey Castle- Goat Castle ! This was never mentioned in my Castles in Ireland book by Tom McNeill. Guess you have to be present to find out stuff like this, huh ? ; ) Very nice, Ed !

    The Castle Lady


  14. Great photos – thanks, too, for visiting my blog and wishing you all the best for yours!


  15. archecotech says:

    So is the bracelet still in existence? Might be interesting research.


  16. Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis says:

    So beautiful!! I love the Holy Wells of Ireland!

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


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