As part of my recent ruin hunt with my eldest son Ryan which saw us explore the Pigeon House and the remains of the ecclesiastical site at Old Kilcullen, we also managed to stop of at the old ruined church and graveyard at Fontstown. I had first come across this site by accident back in early 2012, so as Ryan had never been here and we were in the area I decided it was time for a return visit. The ruins at Fontstown are just five minutes up the road from another similar Church Ruin in Nurney, but time restrictions did not allow a return visit here. Not much has changed here since my last visit, the graveyard is kept in fairly good order but inside the crumbling walls of the church could do with a clean up.
On my previous post about Fontstown , two years ago, I really knew nothing about its history. Too be quite honest, there does not seem to be much mention of it in records, however I did manage to find out a few interesting facts regarding this structure. With much of the grave markers dating from 18th to 19th centuries the church is significantly much older. It was previously referred to as ”Villa Fonti” and dates back to the early occupation of Ireland by the Anglo Normans. By the 13th century it was recorded as being in a ruinous state. among the rubble and ivy clad ruins there are trace signs of the building going under some re-building work, perhaps in the late 18th, early 19th century.
The remains of the church and chancel are rectangular, with the north and south walls hailing from the medieval period. Both the east and west gable walls appear to have been rebuilt. There is a partial doorway in the west gable wall and two windows in the south side wall. The east gable contains a single round headed arch window, with some signs of red brick and a bell cote. I have read that the remains of a broken font can be found on the grounds, but unfortunately I could find no trace of it. The entire site is enclosed within a stone wall to the east and south, with double gates and two stiles at the entrance and hedging to the west and north sides. The site is very peaceful and interesting for a quick look around, but with no major historical associations or artefacts to find you would not need to spend much time here. The entire country is littered with these small chapels which date back as far as early Christian times right up until the late 18th, early 19th century, which are a dime a dozen. However I will always stop of to take a look around a new find, because you just never know what you might find!