ST. CRISPIN'S CELL

This small, single-celled 16th century church was, perhaps, the private chapel for Rathdown Castle. The church is named after the French Saint Crispin, who became the patron saint of shoe-makers.

The Cell is only 7m long (East-West) and 5.4m wide. There is a square-shaped entrance porch at the west end, and a large arched window facing east. The well-preserved walls are upstanding to the eaves, and are built with rubble and granite with quartzitic quoins, and some more porus tufa used in the east window.

The cut granite jambs, arches and threshold stones suggest the possibility that the Cell may be the reconstruction of an earlier medieval church. Substantial plinth stones protruding beyond the present church wall, at the north-west angle, towards the west, suggest that this earlier church is partially beneath St. Crispin’s Cell, and  located to the north-west of the Cell.

Surrounding the Cell on all sides, except the south, are grass-covered mounds with some stone protruding. These mounds are characteristic of Irish Early-Christian church sites.

Scott, George Digby (1884) The Stones of Bray, Cualann Publications, Bray.

Smal, Chris (1993) Ancient Rathdown and St. Crispin’s Cell, A uniquely historic landscape. Friends of Historic Rathdown, Greystones.

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