My Mum is from a place called Bawnboy in Co. Cavan. Bawnboy is a village in the parish of Templeport in Co. Cavan, Ireland. I finally got home in August and got to spend time with my family. This included an evening visiting where my Mum is from, visiting my Nana and Granda’s graves in the nearby Kilnavart graveyard, and a quick trip to St Peter’s Church in Templeport. I hasten to add this is a journey around the churchyard and not the actual church itself as it was closed on our visit.
History and Folklore
I remember as a small person passing the laneway which leads to the church and Mam telling us that the laneway led to St. Mogue’s Island. This is the first time, however, that I had actually walked through the graveyard.
St Peter’s Church was built on the shore of Templeport Lake. In the middle of the Lake is St. Mogue’s Island, a tiny island with the ruins of an old Church that has been used as a cemetery. It’s officially closed now except only for a few family members of those already buried on the island.
There is a definite sense of history on the churchyard, much like in St Columba’s Churchyard in Kells, the ground has subsided in parts. The local Templeport website says that there has been a church there since 1594. The church that stands there now was built in 1815.
Since I’ve been reading and trying to find out more about St Peter’s Church, I found this about an RAF plane that crashed into Templeport Lake. It immediately jolted my memory and I remember Nana telling me in her kitchen as I was drying the dishes about a British plane that crashed. I had completely forgotten about this.
When you arrive at St Peter’s you are greeted by the black gates, there’s a path straight in front of you which lies around the boundary of the churchyard. The church and burial grounds are to your your right.
When you step through the gates, there is an immense sense of history. Some of the graves are visibly older than others, their headstones now resting at an angle rather than their original upright position. Another giveaway of the age is that some of the burial plots have chains around the outside. I’m not sure whether these were designed to keep people out or in. I jest.
The stand-out and most unusual thing for me is what seem to be, overground crypts. Now, I’m not sure what way these were designed originally. Perhaps, they were just complete stone boxes overground. Nowadays they have a mound of earth over them and are part of the landscaping around them. They are definitely curious things.
The church is an imposing structure, especially so here in, what seems like, the middle of nowhere. It would be lovely at some stage to snoop around inside. There are still some services held here but alas, midweek, it was closed.
Behind the church is Templeport Lake, with St Mogue’s Island to the left. It’s quiet a serene setting, with the swans on the lake. But I really wanted to what the church looked like from the opposite side of the lake.
We jumped into the car and went down another side road. With the lake now on our left, we came to a boathouse and pulled in. The boathouse, the lake, St Mogue’s Island are all very scenic, serene, and beautiful, but the view of St Peter’s is just divine. You really couldn’t get more picturesque.
Some Photos of St. Peter’s Churchyard
Hope you enjoy the photos!
I’d really love a drone to go fly over this whole area and see everything from above. I found this video online which shows a little of what I’d love to do.