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Feature Sets (2)


Ruined church of late medieval date, with reused Romanesque head set in E gable of nave, over the chancel arch. There is also a late medieval sheela-na-gig over the S window.


A monastery for nuns was built by St Abban for St Gobnata. St Gobnata and the ruined church were still being venerated in the 18thc. The nunnery may have been founded in the 6th or 7thc. and is unlikely to have existed after c.1172 (Gwynn and Hadcock, 1970, 313).


Interior Features

Interior Decoration



Human head corbel set into the rubble wall of the E gable of the nave. Fairly worn but with features still distinguishable. The facial features are small and neatly carved. The head projects from the wall and is fully three-dimensional.


The head is described as a voussoir in the Shell Guide to Ireland, but there is no evidence of any voussoir-shaped stone where it is set into the wall and it appears rather to have been a corbel. The style suggests a probable 12thc. date.


  • A. Gwynn and R.N. Hadcock,, Medieval Religious Houses, Ireland, Dublin, 1970, 313.

  • F. Henry, ‘The Decorated Stones at Ballyvourney’, JCHAS, 112, no.185, 1952.

  • M. Killanin and M. Duignan, The Shell Guide to Ireland, London, 1962, 3rd ed. 1989, 365.

  • D. O hEaluighthe, ‘St Gobnat of Ballyvourney’, JCHAS, 57, 1952, 43-61.

  • M.J. O’Kelly, ‘St. Gobnat’s House, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork’, JCHAS, 57, 1952, 18-40.

  • D. Power et al , Archaeological Inventory of Co. Cork, Vol. III, Dublin, 1997, 378.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
W 20 77 
now: Cork
medieval: Teampall Ghobhnachtan
Type of building/monument
Ruined church  
Report authors
Tessa Garton