Early Draft

East Schull 1825,  p. 6

Rosnacaheragh (Akakista) 1826, p. 30

Durrus 1899, p. 50

Chapels, Churches and Meeting House 


Durrus is mentioned in a Papal Decretal of Pope Innocent 111 in 1199.  The monastery of Gill Abbey in Cork had a claim for Durrus in the 13th and 14th centuries but it was attached to St. Catherine’s of Waterford.  In mediaeval times the parish of Durrus was part of the deanery of Foneragh (Fionn Iarthach, the western lands) and also included the parishes of Kilmoe, Schull, Kilcrohane, Kilmocomge and Caheragh. 

Report on Popery, 1731 setting out Masshouses and Popish Schools in Co. Cork, Drinagh, Inchigeela 7 sheds, Killaconenagh (Castletownbere) swarms of Priests are constantly going to and from France, 600 families in Parish of whom 12 are of Reformed Church, Kilmoe (Ballydehob), Friars frequently landing from France and dispersing throughout the country, copied from documents in Bermingham Tower, Dublin Castle probably destroyed in 1922.

Further Report Conveyed to His Grace Lord Primate of the Church of Ireland in Dublin 17th December 1731 on the State of Popery including, Aughadown, Ballinadee, Caheragh, a small shed and cabin, Drimoleague, an altar moved from place to place, Fanlobbus (Dunmanway), three small huts open at one end, Drinagh one small hut open at one end, Kilbrittain, Kinsale, Desertserges, Innishannon, Ross, in a field under a hedge, Rathclarin, Schull and Kilmoe three Mass houses three thatched cabins Priests mostly Friars daily moving to and from France and other Popish Countries from Crookhaven, in the Parish of Kilmoe

It is believed that there was a thatched church on the site of the Old Mill, now the housing development Cois Abhann, built around 1750. After the 1798 Rebellion and the arrival of the French Armada in Bantry the church was forced to close.  There were also Mass Rocks, one in Coomkeen in the lands of the late Timmy Wholihan and one at Kealties.  There are the ruins of a church at Kealties; this was a thatched church erected c.1780. There was a belief among the older people that there was a church or house of refuge at Rossmore (on the northern side of the road in George Hegarty’s farmyard) on the site indicated as a burial ground on the Ordnance Survey map. There may have been another church at the boundary between Clonee and Crottees, there is an area there known as ‘The Chapel Brake

The old Church at Durrus East, Moulivard was probably built around the 14th or early 15th century, contemporaneous with the ruined church in Kilcrohane graveyard. Inside the church is an incised cross dating from the early Christian period.  This was found by Jeremiah Hurley, d. 1933, grandfather of Vincent Hurley while ploughing their farm near the creamery and then placed in the Church grounds.  Another cross of this type is in Cape Clear and may denote an old monastic settlement.  There had been a monastic settlement at Scartbawn under the patronage of the MacCarthy (Teig Rua sept) who had a castle in the area.  This moved to Moulivard to take advantage of the water power of Four Mile Water and the mill race is still visible in Ballinvillen (townland of the mill).  Moulivard Church was in good repair in 1639 and in use mid-17th century but according to Brady was in ruins by 1699.  It is said that the white friars are associated with the site but there is no corroboration of this. There is a local tradition that the church was used in Penal times, when Mass was celebrated from time to time by itinerant friars.  On St John’s Eve an open air mass is celebrated each year.  The stone table used otherwise for coffins is used and in the course of the mass parishioners call out the names of family members buried in the graveyard for prayers In the 1730s the Franciscans had a limited presence in West Cork site of their former monasteries. There is also a local tradition that a priest was hung from a tree on the back road near Durrus Court, there were episodes of ‘priest-catchers’ in 1707, 1712 and 1717.  On the coast near Kilcrohane is an area Coosataggart (Cuas an tSagairt) where priests reputedly used to hide in a cave in Penal times. According to tradition there was a church at Coolculachta. 

An early church stood on the site of the old Mill erected c 1750.  It may have been built by Father Timothy O’Crowley and was probably thatched.
The former church at Chapel Rock (on the site of the present National School) was built by Fr. Quin in 1820 and was a slated structure.  Fr. Richard Quin was from Onoyne, in Co. Tipperary and came to the parish in 1818.  He was one of four from Co. Tipperary who came to West Cork, Father Doheny in Dunmanway, Father Dore in Caheragh and Father Ryan in Drimoleague. All were active in church and school building and politically active in O’Connelite politics  and anti tithe agitation.  In 1820 he started the parish register of births, marriages and deaths.  In 1835 his house was described as ‘a whitewashed cottage embosomed in its snug and thriving orchard, standing further inland among verdant meadows’.  The Ordnance Survey letters describe it and that of the Rector of the only two slated houses in Clashadoo.  A Parliamentary enquiry in 1835……,