Things to see or do
- Directions: Location Na Seacht Teampaill ( The Seven Churches ) are located on Inis Mór, an island off the Galway coast. You can travel to Inis Mór by ferry boat, directly from Ros a Mhil ( Rossaveal ) in Connemara ( 35 / 40 mins ), Doolin in Co. Clare ( 20 mins ) or by air from Indreabhán ( Inverin ) under 10 mins. The monastic site of Na Seacht Teampaill can be found at Eoghanacht, just north off the main road on the island.
- About forty yards south of Temple Brecan is the only other stone church on the site. Known as Teampall an Phoill, ‘ Church of the Hollow ’, it probably dates to the fifteenth century. South east of Temple Brecan is a group of commemorative slabs of uncertain date, one bearing the inscription VII Romani, without making clear who these mysterious ‘ Romans ’ were. To the southeast of the church there is a Leaba, or bed, of uncertain function, on or around which are further cross slabs, including one fragmentary example inscribed in Latin with what may have been the name Brecan. Close by is the West Cross, one of three fragmentary High Crosses associated with Temple Brecan, the others being the North Cross over two hundred feet north east of Temple Brecan, and the South Cross lying flat on a low hill above and to the south of the church. The West and North Crosses both bear Crucifixion scenes, and all three taken together represent the most extensive collection of twelfth century High Crosses to be found anywhere in the country. As a pilgrimage site, Temple Brecan may have declined in popularity when the Galway O’Flaherties took over all three islands around the sixteenth century from the Clare O’Briens, who had promoted Brecan’s cult, but it may have been the iconoclastic Cromwellian garrison which was responsible for smashing the crosses, even though no documentary proof survives to support the suggestion.
- Opening Times: Open to the public all year.
Na Seacht TeampaillAran Islands Galway - Ireland West
Around the year 800, the Irish church seems to have encouraged its flock to go on pilgrimage to remote places in the country, and the Aran Islands in County Galway would appear to have been one of the chosen destinations. Na Seacht Tempaill, or the Seven Churches, may have been home to seven houses of worship, but today, but only Teampall Brecan and Teampall an Phoill survive. Temple Brecan was built around 1200 and is flanked by a number of rectangular houses, which are believed to be the only pilgrim hostels to survive from late-Medieval Ireland.
ContactTelephone+353 (0)99 61 263
Fax:+353 (0)99 61 420
Address: Tourist Information Office, Kilronan, Inis Mór, Aran Islands,, Co Galway, Republic of Ireland