St Mary's Church

Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

Built in the 13th century on the site of a former monastery, St Mary's is ruined today but the well-preserved remains include its tower, which can be climbed, and rebuilt chancel, with a 1.5m-high Ogham stone, and several stone effigies including one that's believed to be the oldest in Ireland to have a date inscribed on it (1253). It's 9.5km northeast of Bennettsbridge on the R448 in Gowran's village centre.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny attractions

1. Kilgraney House Herb Gardens

4.91 MILES

These delightful gardens are home to a heady cocktail of medicinal and kitchen herbs growing in orderly profusion; the recreated medieval monastic herb…

2. Kilfane Church

5.63 MILES

About 3km north of Thomastown, east of the R448, is a small, ruined 13th-century church and Norman tower, signposted 50m off the road. The church contains…

3. Carlow Brewing Company


This brewery produces the popular O'Hara's brand beers. Its award-winning Irish Stout bursts with flavour and certainly holds its own against that other…

4. Borris House

6.13 MILES

This impressive Tudor Gothic mansion, the ancestral home of the McMorrough Kavanaghs, High Kings of Leinster, was modelled in 1810–20 around the earlier…

5. Nore Valley Park


At this 73-hectare farm, children can pet goats, cuddle rabbits, feed lambs, turkeys and ducks, navigate a maze (in the former barn), play crazy golf and…

6. Duiske Abbey

7.63 MILES

Founded in 1204, this was once Ireland's largest Cistercian abbey, and is still very much a working parish church. In the grounds stand two Celtic high…

7. Maudlin Castle

7.73 MILES

This substantial tower house, dating from around 1500, once formed part of the city's defences, protecting the approach from the east.

8. Kilkenny Castle Park

7.76 MILES

These 21 hectares of public parkland extend to the southeast of Kilkenny Castle, framing a fine view of Mt Leinster, while a Celtic-cross-shaped rose…