Religious sites in United Kingdom

Bonamargy Friary

Bonamargy Friary is a late Franciscan foundation established in 1485 by Rory MacQuillan. It is said that the first battle between the warring MacDonnell and MacQuillan clans was fought on nearby land. At the main entrance to the friary is a small, two storey gatehouse which opens into a store and workroom. Well worn steps lead directly to the dormitory above. Traces of an altar can still be found in the adjoining chu ...
Founded: 1485 | Location: Ballycastle, United Kingdom

Nendrum Monastery

Nendrum Monastery may have been founded in the 5th century, but this is uncertain. The monastery came to an end at some time between 974 and 1178, but its church served a parish until the site was abandoned in the 15th century. Some remains of the monastery can still be seen. Dendrochronology has dated a tide mill on the island to the year 619, making this the oldest excavated tide mill anywhere in the world. The mona ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Comber, United Kingdom

Rushen Abbey

Originally home for monks of the Savignac order, Rushen Abbey soon came under Cistercian control and remained so until its dissolution. The abbey is located two miles from Castle Rushen, the politically most important site on the island in medieval times. The abbey was founded in 1134, under Óláfr Guðrøðarson's control. He granted the land to Savignac monks from Furness Abbey. In 1147 the abbey came under ...
Founded: 1134 | Location: Ballasalla, United Kingdom

Kilarrow Church

Kilarow Parish Church is a rare round church commenced in 1767. Daniel Campbell the Younger brought Thomas Spalding to Islay for the specific purpose of building the church which was completed in 1769 and is therefore, in Islay, the oldest church building in which public worship takes place on a weekly basis. The Round Church is 18.2 metres in diameter and the walls are 0.85 metres thick. The main central pillar is 0.48 m ...
Founded: 1767 | Location: Bowmore, United Kingdom

Forest Church

Ste Marguerite de la Foret (Forest church) is the smallest parish church in Guernsey. It was built in two stages with the nave, chancel and the centrally positioned tower in the 13th century and additions in the 15th century. Interestingly it has two entrances, one originally for men and the other for women. All now enter by the north door. Its walls feature massive stones which were once part of a dolmen. The Church orig ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Ardchattan Priory

Ardchattan Priory was established in 1230 or 1231 by an obscure order of monks from France, the Valliscaulians. They followed a strict form of monastic rule, with emphasis more on the ascetic religious life than on manual work. Houses were limited to no more than 20 brothers, and the monks’ livelihood depended on rents and teinds (tithes) from endowments. Their church, in common with all Valliscaulian houses, was de ...
Founded: 1230-1231 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Castel Church

Pagans, Pirates and Romans have all been linked with the site now occupied by Castel Church. Outside the main door can be seen the Neolithic Statue Menhir found under the floor of the church during the 19th century. At its foot lie the stone seats for the official of the medieval court of Fief St Michel. The church of ‘Our Lady of Deliverance’ to use its ancient title, was first mentioned in a papal document d ...
Founded: 1155 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Antrim Round Tower

The Round Tower and Witch's Stone are impressive reminders of Antrim’s ancient monastic settlement. The tower was built around the 10th century as a bell-tower for protection from raiders and is known locally as The Steeple. It is 28 metres tall and is one of the finest of its kind in Ireland. The monastic site was burned in 1147.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Antrim, United Kingdom

Cambuskenneth Abbey Ruins

Cambuskenneth Abbey is a ruined Augustinian monastery founded of David I around the year 1140. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it was initially known as the Abbey of St Mary of Stirling and sometimes simply as Stirling Abbey. The major street leading down the castle hill from the royal residences in Stirling Castle to the abbey was called St. Mary"s Wynd, a name it retains. Cambuskenneth was one of the more important ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Stirling, United Kingdom

Devenish Monastic Site

Devenish Island contains one of the finest monastic sites in Northern Ireland. A round tower thought to date from the twelfth century is situated on the island, as are the walls of the Oratory of Saint Molaise who established the monastery in the 6th century, on a pilgrim route to Croagh Patrick in County Mayo. It became a centre of scholarship and although raided by Vikings in 837 and burned in 1157, it late ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Devenish, United Kingdom

St. Martin's Church

St Martin de la Bellouse dates from around 1225 with the centrally situated tower (similar to the one at the Forest Church), nave and chancel completed by 1250. The South porch was added around 1520 and until 1869, was the meeting place of the Douzaine. The church sits on an ancient holy site in attractive surroundings. The church is well known for the female menhir stone figure (dating back to 2500 - 1800 BC) La Gran&qu ...
Founded: c. 1225 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Newry Cathedral

The See of Dromore was founded in the sixth century by Colman of Dromore, and had its own independent jurisdiction ever since. The old cathedral of Dromore, which had been taken by the Protestants, was burnt down by the Irish insurgents in 1641, and rebuilt by Bishop Taylor twenty years later; the Catholic Church was erected later. In 1750 the seat of the cathedral was transferred to Newry the largest town of County Down ...
Founded: 1825 | Location: Newry, United Kingdom

Bangor Abbey Church

Bangor Abbey was established by Saint Comgall in 558 and was famous for its learning and austere rule. Bangor Abbey is regarded as one of the most important of the early Northern Irish monastic sites, second only to Armagh. Within the extensive rampart which encircled its monastic buildings, students studied scripture, theology, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, and the classics. Bangor was a major center of learni ...
Founded: 558 AD | Location: Bangor, United Kingdom

Inch Abbey

Inch Abbey is a large, ruined monastic site north-west of Downpatrick. The site was originally on an island in the Quoile Marshes. The pre-Norman Celtic monastic settlement here was in existence by the year 800. In 1002 it was plundered by the Vikings. The Vikings plundered the settlement again in 1149. Its large earthwork enclosure has been traced from aerial photographs. On the ground, the early bank and ditch ca ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Downpatrick, United Kingdom

Kilberry Sculptured Stones

In 1951 some 25 sculptured stones were removed from the basement of Kilberry Castle, a private residence, and placed in a purpose-built shelter for public display. In 1997 they were joined by the Kilberry Cross. All the stones were found on the Kilberry estate, most of them apparently from the site of the medieval parish church, a little to the east of the castle. The collection comprises three early Christian grave-slab ...
Founded: | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Oronsay Priory Ruins

Oronsay Priory was a monastery of canons regular on the island of Oronsay. It was in existence by 1353, perhaps founded by John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. It was dedicated to St. Columba, and perhaps was a continuation or a re-activation of an older foundation. Very little is known about it because of the absence of records and its remoteness from the Scottish Lowlands, but on occasions some of the Priors of Oronsay com ...
Founded: 1353 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Kilmory Knap Chapel

Kilmory Knap Chapel is a 13th-century Christian chapel, located at the tiny hamlet of Kilmory. When the roof was lost the building was used as a burial enclosure. The structure was re-roofed in 1934 to hold a large collection of Early Christian cross slabs, late medieval graveslabs and standing crosses of West Highland type, from the 14th to 16th centuries. The chapel is an important historical site of Clan Macmillan (of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Knapdale, United Kingdom

St. Adamnan's Church

St Adamnan"s Church is situated in an isolated position, surrounded by open farmland on the eastern coast of the island, between Groudle Glen and Baldrine. The eastern (and oldest) part of the church has been restored, but it is otherwise in a ruinous, though well-tended, condition. St Adamnan was the Abbot of Iona between 679 and 704. The site on which the church stands is of ancient religious significance. ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Douglas, United Kingdom

St Tugual's Chapel

St Tugual"s Chapel dates back to the 11th century when the island was a haven for an order of Norman monks. However, there is evidence that the site has had religious significance since the 6th century. The chapel was designed in such a way that they could sit in the building"s north nave without being seen by the public who would sit in the west portion of the chapel. In the years before the Wood family took h ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Saint Thomas Church

Saint Thomas Church is the largest church in the Channel Islands, and first opened its doors in 1885.
Founded: 1885 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Medieval Walls of Avila

The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.

The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.