2.6 Church of the Seven

These are the only chapel remains on Tory Island. In Irish this place is called Móirsheisear which translates as ‘big number six’ and which is an old Irish word for the number seven.

Islanders tell the story that the site is the tomb of seven people who drowned when their boat was wrecked off the island’s northwest coast at Scoilt Móirsheisear. There was only one woman among the seven and she was buried alongside the men. However, in the morning the woman’s body was found on top of the grave so she was re-buried in a separate plot. This story is the explanation for the small enclosure near the chapel.

It is believed that clay taken from under the woman’s grave has the power to keep ships and boats free of rats. But the clay can only be collected by the oldest member of the Duggan family living on Tory.

There is an altar at the east end of the building and a bullaun stone - which would have contained holy water - near the entrance.

 

Getting there

Head westagain on the road out of the West Town. The chapel ruins are on the leftin a small field just before a fork in the road.


 
   
  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.1 An Chros Tau

    As you arrive in Tory the first site to greet you is the Tau Cross. Sitting high on a plinth, the T-shaped stone cross is a symbol of the island’s Christian heritage.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.2 The Old Graveyard

    The graveyard is believed to be on the site of an Teampull Buí - the main church of a monastic settlement on Tory.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.3 The Bell Tower

    The Bell Tower is the only surviving round tower in Donegal. Although nearly 13 metres tall it is among the smallest of such structures in Ireland. Its date is not known but could be as late as the 12th century.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.4 St John's Altar

    This altar dedicated to St John the Baptist is just beside the Bell Tower. There are a number of stones here - including a stone trough, decorated stones and slabs, a quern (millstone) and the remains of the base of a cross.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.5 St Brigid's Oratory

    The stone altar of St Brigid lies between the islanders’ houses. On top of the altar are three quern stones (used for grinding corn) and two granite slabs.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.6 Church of the Seven

    These are the only chapel remains on Tory Island. Móirsheisear translates as ‘big six’ which is an old Irish word for the number seven.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.7 Rock of the Hound

    Local tradition says that when Colmcille first set foot on Tory, he was met by the local king, Oilill who refused to let him land.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.8 Cnoc na Naomh

    Local legend says that Colmcille stood on this hill - Cnoc na Naomh - with his companions Saints Fionán, Dubthach and Begley.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.9 Ray Church

    This extraordinary 5 1/2 metre high cross stands inside the ruins of Ray Church. It was found broken in the graveyard outside the church, rebuilt and erected inside the church walls for protection.

  • Kilmory Knap Chapel carved graveslabs
     

    2.10 Tullaghobegley

    The ruins of the late medieval Tullaghobegley Church and its graveyard lie on a small mound just to the south of Falcarragh. This tullach - or ‘low hill’ or ‘mound’ - was probably originally a place used for tribal inauguration ceremonies.