Rare opportunity to visit remains of Kiltierney Abbey and burial sites


A passage grave at the Kiltierney site.

Magheraculmoney Parish, Kesh, is providing a unique opportunity to view one of the oldest Christian settlements in the area with an organised visit to the remains of Kiltierney Abbey.

The remains of the abbey as well as burial mounds dating from the Iron Age can be visited on Saturday, 15th September, as part of a weekend of Re-dedication of St. Mary’s Church, Ardess, following extensive repairs.

A headstone at an early grave.

According to historians, Kiltierney Abbey dates from around 550AD when St.Tighernagh (St.Tierney) established it. There is evidence of a settlement before then during the Iron Age with some good examples of passage graves and other artefacts. Monks from that time would have travelled to other nearby monasteries such as Assaroe in Ballyshannon.

There are some headstones in the grounds, one dated 1622. A river disappears and re-appears near Fiddlers’ Cave nearby.

It was also an area where accommodation blocks and an ammunition store built by American military personnel during the Second World War still remain.

The tours to the site of Kiltierney Abbey, which is in the centre of a working farm at the Deerpark, are being organised by Magheraculmoney Parish from 11am until 4pm on Saturday, 15th September. Those intending to go must meet at Ardess Parish Centre from where there will be regular shuttle bus services running throughout the day. Suitable footwear is necessary for the walk around Kiltierney Abbey.

There is a minimum donation of £5 towards the Ardess Church Rebuilding Fund. Tours can be pre-booked through Magheraculmoney Parish Office, Tel. 02868632695.

The Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication at Ardess Parish Church takes place on Friday, 14th September at 7.30pm.