Churches & Monasteries

Churches & Monasteries

The modern Catholic parish of Celbridge and Straffan comprises the medieval parishes of Kildrought and Straffan as well as the former parishes of Stacumny, Donaghcumper, Killadoon, Castledillon and Kilmacredock.

The Catholic Church of St Patrick was designed by JJ McCarthy and opened in 1859 after a building initiative by Parish Priest Daniel Byrne. It was dedicated by David Moriarty, Bishop of Kerry as Archbishop Paul Cullen was unable to attend as he was ill. Among those who were married (separately) in the church were writers Graham Linehan and Claire Boylan.

The Holy Faith convent and school next door was built in 1877 after a site was developed by the townspeople.

Christ Church (Church of Ireland) was built inside Castletown Gates in 1884 and retains the tower of an earlier church (1813).

The original Kildrought parish church (c1350, burned 1798) was associated with St Mochua and granted to the Abbey of St Thomas in Dublin in Norman times. It stood in the disused graveyard at Tea Lane and houses the mausoleums of the Dongan and Conolly families.

The etymology of the church at Donaghcumper (53°20′20″N 6°31′37″W), where the town’s graveyard is situated, suggests it may have existed as a monastic site from the 5th century. It translates as “church of the confluence,” “Domhnach”, is one of the earliest Irish words for church, Donaghcumper Church (c1150) had windows of cut stone inserted into the building in the 14th century.  Members of the Alan family are buried in the church vault.

The Abbey of St Wolstan’s (53°20′42″N 6°31′00″W) was established by one of Strongbow’s companions for Adam de Hereford as a monastery in the Order of St Victor c1202 and named for St Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, then newly canonised by Pope Innocent III. It grew to become one of the largest monasteries in Ireland with extensive lands in Kildare and Dublin, its buildings covering an estimated 20 acres. It was the first Irish Monastery to be dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII.

Pre Norman churches served the adjoining parishes in Stacumny (53°20′04″N 6°30′05″W) (Teach Cumni, mentioned 1176, burned 1297, held in 1308 by a parson, Waleys) to the east, Adherrig or Aderrig further to the east (Athdearg or Red Ford, church first mentioned 1220) (53°20′27″N 6°29′17″W), Kilmacreddock (53°21′55″N 6°31′38″W) to the north east, the tiny parish of Donaghmore (plundered 1150, mentioned in letter 1190) further to the north (53°22′37″N 6°33′15″W), Laraghbryan (plundered 1036 and 1171) (53°22′55″N 6°36′49″W) to the north west, and Killadoon (53°19′39″N 6°33′24″W) to the south.