At Killoughternane about four miles from Myshall a tiny church overlooks the road. It has antae or projecting walls, an architectural feature that foes back to the temples of Ancient Greece. The church was founded by St. Foirtcheirn in the late 5th century, although the existing roofless ruins of a single cell church are later – 8th or 9th century. A well close by was completely lost sight of until about the year 1880 when the owner found a corked bottle which contained a document written in a foreign language which when translated was found to indicate the position of the well. When it became known that well had been discovered pilgrims came in great numbers to visit it and many cures were recorded. After its discovered an old lady, cleaning out the bottom of the well, came upon a mysterious mud-encrusted object which she presumed sacred. Later a travelling tailor began scraping at it discovering it to be a Chalice and Paten. Dr. Comerford, a former Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, had it restored and a magnificent job was done.

Killoughternane Church (The White Church)

"Braganza Chalice" found in Killoughternane Well

It has since become known as the “Braganza Chalice”. The chalice measures eight and a half inches high, weights over 18 ozs., is made of silver deeply overlaid with gold and is dated 1595. The paten is also thickly overlaid with gold and weighs over 3 ozs. It is highly probable that a priest pursued by Priest Hunters in penal times, wanted to rid themselves of incriminating evidence had wrapped the chalice and Paten in a surplice and deposited the bundle in the well. The chalice and paten are now kept in the Parochial House, Bagenalstown.

Related articles: St. Fortchern's Well

Ralted websites: "The White Church", Killoughternane and Early Christian Ireland.

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