Galway’s medieval churches at risk

Galway Medieval church Saint Nicholas | Medieval ArchivesGalway’s medieval churches could be under threat from ivy and an increase in rainfall, according to the author of a new survey.

Surveyor Simon Large was contracted by Clare County Council to carry out a comprehensive study of the churches in County Clare and found that a third of the 170 churches examined had disappeared in the intervening 173-year period, while a third are in a dilapidated condition and at serious risk of disappearing.

Mr Large said that Galway was likely to be facing a similar fate, as the county is home to a large number of medieval churches.

“Having spent some time in Galway, travelling around, I have seen churches that are suffering from degradation,” said Mr Large.

The surveyor said that this could be as a result of a number of things.

“It could be weather-related, it could be from vegetative growth, which are the two things we focused on in Clare,” he said.

As Galway and Clare are equally wet counties in terms of oncoming rain, Mr Large said Galway would have very strong parallels to the vegetative and weather damage seen in Clare.

According to Large, an increase in rainfall in recent years has accelerated the washing out of lime mortar, while ivy has also caused considerable structural damage to many of the churches.



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Comments 1

  1. wuhstry says:

    It is sad to hear notices like this. at least it is due to environmental conditions and not human activity? (althought perhaps due to the lack of human involvement in their upkeep…)
    In my mother land (Spain) I have heard in the course of the sumer that 3 different churches and other 3 or 4 heritage monuments have been severely damaged by people, the very same inhabitants of their respective home towns. I think that is really bad, how we all treat our historical legacy, or the little we do to keep fine the few things we have complete and not in ruins.
    Anyway, thanks for the information. Hopefully the next update wiil be a bit more cheery,
    Lillian from W.U Hstry Team