Ireland’s Ancient East trail is a treasure trove of interesting places to visit, particularly in the East Cork area. St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal Ireland is minutes away from Cobh by car and is a nice stop if you are in this coastal town.
Known for being a medieval town back in the days, Youghal has retained and preserved some of its old buildings. The main town center is surrounded by these impressive strutures and forms the Youghal Heritage Trail.
Built in 1796, St Mary’s Collegiate Church is also known as Collegiate Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and is part of the Anglican Church of Ireland. The church welcomes and opens it doors to all visitors of all religions.
There used to be a spire on this beautiful church but it was removed in 1919 because of its unfit condition. The whole collegiate church is a National Monument of Ireland and is cared by the government by way of a lease between the Church of Ireland Representative Church Body and the Youghal Urban District Council.
Th adjoined plot of land from the church serves as a graveyard. If you wander around, you may find the oldest gravestone which dates back to 1632. Walk on the top of the graveyard trail to see the town walls and the grand view over Youghal.
The enchanting Great East Window with its stained glass was a marvel to look at. Handpainted and took years to complete, you would see the crest of distinguished families on the shimmering glasses which adorn the long windows and look over the marble altar.
The church interior has fascinating parts and pieces on every corner. Look up the roof timbers which are said to be from 1170 according to carbon dating. Check out the ornate pulpit and the baptismal font, stop by the tomb of Richard Boyle and Peter Miagh and satisfy your curiosity on the sword rest and the medieval speakers.
Small but grand, this church is a recommended visit if you have an hour to spare in Youghal.
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