Kilgarriffe Church

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The town of Clonakilty is situated in the Church of Ireland parish of Kilgarriffe, which takes its name from the townland of the same name less than a mile away. Kilgarriffe is first mentioned in 1292 as Kyleocofthy, when a charter was granted by Edward 1 to Thomas De Roche to hold a market there every Monday. There was also a pre-Reformation church at Kilgarriffe, a small portion of its ruins are still traceable. When Richard Boyle incorporated Clonakilty by charter from James 1 in 1613 the centre of the church life of the district quickly shifted from the old church at Kilgarriffe to this place. The church we see today dates from 1818. It replaces an earlier one which dated back to the time of Boyle who built the first church on this site. Not much is known of the early church but that it was re-roofed and a gallery added in 1802. It was then taken down in 1818 and the present church erected on its site at a cost of 1,300. The church contains a chalice with the following inscription: "This cup was made in the year 1636. Humphrey Jobson Esq., and John Baker, gentleman, being Church wardens." This is the oldest know part of the town. It was from this place that the limits of the Borough of Cloghnikilty extended a mile and a half in every direction, according to the charter of 1613. It was referred to at that time as the "Old Chapel", but, there is no record of a chapel of this site before Boyle. One wonders was the old Castle of Clogh Na Kylte mistakenly called the old chapel when the charter was translated from Latin?