Shrines On Our Lady’s Island

Ruin of a Barbican Tower

The Augustinian Church and Norman Castle.

These are situated on the Island. Only the west gable with the double belfry and a few feet of the side walls of the church now remain.

This church and the castle would appear to have been built by de Lamporte, possibly on and adjacent to the site of the monastery founded by St. Abban centuries before.

The ruin of the strong compact castle has an archway on the west side. On the eastern side is the remains of a strong boundary wall which probably contained the dwellings of the monks.

On the north side of the castle stands the ruin of a barbican tower which leans forward in a south-westerly direction. There is little more than half of it remaining as much of it collapsed when the foundations were disturbed. The area around the church was a burial place for many years – some of the oldest headstones show dates from the early eighteenth century – that is within a century of the Cromwellian destruction of the church, monastery and castle.

Mass Rock on Our Lady's Island

Shrine at the Mass Rock Cross of Shad and Mass Rock.

A new cemetery was opened in 1931 beside the Cross of Shad. A short distance to the left of the cemetery lie the remains of the Mass Rock on which Mass was offered for a hundred years until 1760. Shad is the word in old Forth (Yola) dialect for shed. This shed was erected to protect the altar and priest during Mass. A plain silver chalice kept in the present church is inscribed on its base with the words – ‘Not to be taken from the iland (sic) 1731’. It was probably used for Mass there.

St. Vaugh's Church, Our Lady's Island

Our Lady’s Well

Down the road to the right of the Cross of Shad is sign pointing to the site of the well known for generations as Our Lady’s Well. Many cures have been attributed to the water from the well.

Church of St. Ibar - Our Lady's Island

St. Vaugh’s Church

The ruins of this church are situated near Cansore Point . Many unfortunate sailors who drowned off the coast were laid to rest here.

Legend has it that the saint was wafted to Brittany on a floating boulder which returned when it had delivered him to the Continent where he died in 585 A.D. The stone is marked with a Chinese cross cut into its side.

Church of St. Ibar

The ruins of the church of St. Ibar ( Iberius or Ivor)are situated quite close to Our Lady’s Island on the road to Wexford. St. Ibar had establish a monastery on Beg Erin, an island in the northern side of Wexford Harbour, before the arrival of St. Patrick. He and his Nephew, St. Abban are credited with preaching Christianity in this part of Ireland. Beg Erin Monastery was attacked by raiding Vikings in the 9th century. No longer an island, it was reclaimed from the sea in the 19th century and now forms part of the North Slob at Ardcavan, outside Wexford town.