The sundial at Kilmalkedar Church in County Kerry

Me at the sundial at Kilmalkedar Church.

Cill Mhaoilcéadair or Kilmalkeder in English is an early-Medieval and Christian site about 8km from Dingle in County Kerry.

Set across approximately 10 acres, the site was reputedly founded by St Maolcethair in the seventh century but is often associated with St Brendan (who according to legend lived there for a time).

This place also holds important memories for me as I’ve one great aunt and two great uncles resting there (Have a look for Ó Ciobháin!).

Access to the Romanesque church in the cemetery is through a stunning doorway with a green keystone in the shape of a head.

Mom-going-through-the-eye-of-the-needle-in-the-church

Mom-going-through-the-eye-of-the-needle

(Mom going through the “Eye of the Needle” at the back of the church, which supposed to bring good luck!)

It’s estimated that the church was probably built in the mid-twelfth century with existing remains from the early Christian period.

Among these is an amazing sundial made of stone, an alphabet stone (which stands at 1.2 metres high, inscribed with the Latin alphabet), a stone cross and bullaun stones (depressions in a stone which is often water filled).

St Brendan’s Oratory was closed to the public when we visited, but you’re able to see it near the church at the top of the road to the left.

Another interesting feature is the Ogham stone with the inscription of “Anm Maile Inbir Maci Brocann”.

Not only is it off the beaten track but there’s a high chance that you’ll be the only person in the area. It also offers great views of Smerwick harbour in the distance.