After entering the ancient monastic city of Glendalough from the visitors center, the first building or should I say part of, are the remains of St. Kieran’s Chapel. At first I was stumped as to what it was? There was no sign as most of the other ruins had so perhaps it was just some unimportant building. But I decided to take some shots anyway. Happily I was wrong. All that remains are the partial walls of the church, about 1 meter in height. Named after Kieran, the founder of another fine monastic city at Clonmacnoise, Co, Co. Offaly, whom died around the middle of the 6th century. This is the smallest of the surviving churches at Glendalough. Interestingly by the 9th century, Glendalough rivalled Clonmacnoise, as the leading monastic city of Ireland.
It consisted of a small Nave and Chancel which were only re-discovered during excavations here in 1875 and was built using dry stone rubble. The foundation of a stone altar was discovered in the chancel and there is a small doorway in its south wall. Other features which are still evident include a door in the west, a narrow chancel opening, the door in the south wall of chancel, which may have led to a sacristy, and the afor mentioned foundations of a stone altar. In the annals there is a possible reference to its burning in 1163AD, but it is believed to have been built no earlier than the 11th century which would mean that it had a relatively short lifespan considering its neighbors.