21 Great Charles St., Dublin
31 Augt. 1838.

My dear John,

I returned to town on this day week last, after a pleasant journey through a good deal of the North despite the badness of the weather. I remained a fortnight in Dungiven.

Respecting the Tower of Kilbannon I find on reference to my Essay the following notice


HeightCircumfThickness of wallDoorway from groundTop appertures
50 feet52 feet4 feet15 feetdestroyed

[Hand of a scrivener:] This Tower is greatly decayed, and its original height was probably not less than 90 or 100 feet. It is well built of large stones and stands some 40 or 50 feet west of the church (recte 20 feet west of the west entrance of the church erected in 1428 JO'D). The doorway faces the east, or, as usual, the west entrance of the church and is of very ancient form, the sides inclining, and top arched


semicircularly. It is 2 feet wide and 5½ feet high. The stories were supported by rests in the wall.

The church & monastery of Kilbenan, or properly Kill Beinin, which was (were) anciently of great celebrity, were founded by St. Benign the favourite disciple of St. Patrick in the 5th century. Its site was that of a Dun or Castle, called Dun Lugaid, from a Lord of that Country who with his Father and four brothers were here baptized by Sts Patrick & Benign, and gave up their castle for the purpose.

Postea venit Dominus illius regionis i.e. Niata filius Dubhain, ad Sanctos usque ilium locum cum filiis suis; qui erant quinque, nempe Lugadius, Callinus, Rimedus,


Nassus, & Filteus; & vovit illam villam sanctis, quia vidit ibi miraculum; & in illo loco baptizatus est Niata cum filiis suis a Sancto Benigno, & omnes etiam habitatores illius regionis baptizati sunt. Et dedit Nieta se, & filios suos & nepotes in servitium Benigno & Patricio, & omnes habitatores illius regionis. Et in illo loco fundata est civitas Sancti Benigni, nempè in Dun-Lugaidh, seu in Duno Lugadii filii Nietae. ***

Et specialiter Lugadius filius Nietae; contulit ipsis suam arcem cum praedio adjacente, ut ibi Ecclesiam extruerent. Ibi enim instruxerunt Ecclesiam, que olim ex Lugadii nomine: Dun Lugaidh


i.e. Dunum Lugadii dicebatur; & hodie Kill-beinein i.e. Cella Benigni appellatur. Sanctus autem Patricius & Sanctus Benignus in populo illo baptizando, & in Ecclesiae fundamentis jaciendis, & consecrandis quadraginta dierum contraxerunt moram. -

Appendix III ad vitam S. Patricii.
Tr. Th. p. 204. {Ex vita S, Benigni}

Kill Benen according to the annals of the 4 Masters was burned in 1114.

The remains of Dun Lugaid are still visible (not a vestige of it - J.O'D., but the ancient Church of Kill Benign has long perished, and the ruins of a franciscan monastery founded in the year 1428, now occupies its site.

The Tower is most probably coeval with the foundation of the original church.


[Hand of George Petrie resumed:] As the messenger waits, I have only time to add that, there are many curious vestiges at Kilbannon which I have not described, and to which you should attend, as the Altar or chair, I forget which, of St. Patrick, in an adjacent field, the well &c &c

Believe me ever,
my dear John,
Yours faithfully
George Petrie.

I shall soon write again

J. O'Donovan, Esq.