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“The Holy Grail.... MUST See”
Review of Kilmalkedar Church

Kilmalkedar Church
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Private Tour of Dingle Peninsula from Killarney
Ranked #7 of 74 things to do in Dingle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 23, 2013

This Holy Site turned out to be one of the hardest to find off Slea Head Drive. The signage in much of the Dingle peninsula is all still in Gaelic. There is very little correlation, at least to me, between the two languages for you to dissect in English. I have to think, in this part of Dingle, it is especially deliberate (in a clear attempt to preserve the Past which they so dearly honor and keep tourists at bay). This to me was one the Best Sights in the whole trip to Ireland. If you're NOT a 'Shallow Hal', you can't help but, be moved. If you admit you are, I'd skip it. Reading the other reviews here. It is NOT "Worth A Quick Stop", contain "Christian Crosses", or "Worth A Laugh"...
It IS a Irish Romanesque Church in ruins that has stood the test of time back to the 12th Century, it is surrounded by a 'populated' Cemetery with large Celtic Crosses and the very special portion of a monument/ we'll call it a cross that stood there 900 years BEFORE the Church was even built. You'll have to look close but, it is covered with Ogham script used from the 3rd to 7th Century and it marked a pre-Christian grave and Holy place. The fact this remains for us to even fondle amazes me. The hole drilled, Centuries ago, through the top of this stone is a place where people would come to 'seal a deal', an Irish custom where your word WAS your bond. You 'Swear to God' and "touched fingers through the hole". People now use it to re-affirm their wedding vows, which is what my wife and I did.

We attended this beautiful photographic site Alone...... till amazingly, one large Tour Bus showed up and blocked traffic in. They stayed 10 minutes !! Particularly shameful as there was a actual Gaelic Funeral taking place at the time. We whispered the entire time we were there and quietly snapped pictures of the ruins. But, the bus crowd had no respect and did not. There are stone slab steps you have to climb to enter but, it most likely was part of a ritual of respect.
We were so grateful we found this beautiful site, and if asked, I would say- it MADE our entire trip to Ireland. You will feel 'touched' once you visit there. Especially if you're a romantic. So, you can take lightly what is written here, or read up on Kilmarlkedar Church (Cill Mhaoilcheadair) before seeking it out. It IS hard to find but, it is one of a handful of sites not commercialized and... it's free. One footnote; there are the ruins, of yet another un-named church, not far just sitting there, still fully standing, in some farmers pasture (not the Rahinneane Castle). It's locked , completely closed to visitors. I was able to photograph that as well from the road. If you have a soul..add this to your list of Must See.

3  Thank BentleyBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 - 165 of 232 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2013

It blows my mind when you read about some place & it actually delivers. Kilmalkedar has so much to offer, St. Brendan's Oratory (in terrible shape compared to Gallarus), the Keeler's stone, Sundail, Ogham Standing Stone, inside has an alphabet stone. The energy I felt here was incredible. It was the only site (besides Gallarus) that made me aware of its spiritiual presence. Like most cemeteries in Ireland, it is still be used to bury recently deceased. There is also a very ancient cross in the churchyard in the old christian style with the cross bar in the center. It is not inscribed.

1  Thank IrishPrincess57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

This is not a major stop at Dingle, but was worth a stop along the coastal drive. The church is in ruins, but the graveyard is still in use.

Thank Reagan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Mind you, I might be biased due to certain events that occurred at this wonderful site within view of the Atlantic Ocean on the far end of the Dingle Peninsula.

We awoke with the dawn (truly a remarkable feat in June in Ireland as the sun comes up around 5 am) and drove the Ring of Dingle in reverse so this was the very first stop leaving Dingle. The site is majestic, especially with the sun breaking over the eastern hills to backlight the hills. The older cemetery is full of the requisite high Gaelic crosses and even sports a runestone. The chapel and the runestone were, IMHO, the perfect place to ask a person to marry and luckily she agreed. Thus, this is truly the greatest ruined Norman chapel on earth. At dawn, we had the site to ourselves and it had a very special feel to it...the only people likely awake within 10 miles were the thousands of sheep grazing in nearby pastures. Well worth a stop if you're in Dingle.

1  Thank Bryan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

We did the Slea Head drive using Rick Steve's route, and the Kilmalkedar Church was one stop on the route. It's a Romanesque cathedral with a graveyard with some early Christian crosses and an ogham stone. No one else was there while we visited, and the quietness of the site added to our appreciation of the history of the church as we poked around. Some very nice architectural features and a great view of Smerwick Harbor as well. The church didn't seem like a stop on the bus tours, so we appreciated that. If you're on the Slea Head drive, definitely stop here for a few minutes. You won't be disappointed.

2  Thank Rich H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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