ANTIQUITIES of IRELAND
TAGHMON CHURCH
TAGHMON CHURCH, COUNTY WESTMEATH
A monastery was founded here in the 6th century by Saint Fintan (Munna) but the present structure
was built as a parish church in the 15th century and was plundered by Farrell Macgeoghegan in
1452. Oliver Cromwell is said to have slept there. Taghmon, ‘Teach Munna’ (meaning St. Munna’s
church) is a long, undivided structure, with a barrel vault (a stone-arched roof). Four original
windows survive, two in each wall, but the east window, above the site of the altar, is a recent
insertion. The piscine (the stone bowl where the priest washed his hands and the vessels for the mass)
is very finely carved. The massive tower at the west end of the church was intended to provide vital
security for the priest living in the church; such security measures were introduced to many churches
during a very turbulent period. The tower is four storeys high, with vaulted ceilings over the first and
third storeys.The second floor was the main living space; it has a fireplace, two windows with seats
and a slop-stone (a drain). Above was the bedroom to which is connected a small garderobe (toilet).
Above one window, on the outer north wall, is a fine carving of a sheela-na-gig. Above the outer-
doorway on the north wall, is a stone carving of a bishops head. High up in the outer face of the
north wall, is an older-looking stone head.
LOCATION
Taghmon Church is located NE of Mullingar, just off the R394 heading towards Castlepollard.
Co-ordinates:- 53 36’ 3.2”N…7 15’ 59.253”W