Upper Lake Historical Sites   


The Caher

The Caher

This archaeological monument is found on the lawns beside the Upper Lake in Glendalough. It is a stone walled circular enclosure, measuring 20 meters in diameter. It's original purpose and time of construction is a mystery. Similar structures can be found around the country but they were built on a much larger scale for use as defensive forts. The Caher in Glendalough is likely to be have been used as a station (stopping point for prayers) for those on pilgrimage across the mountains to the remains of St. Kevin's monastery.

Various Crosses

The lawns by the Upper Lake are the location of several stone crosses. They may have been used as stations during pilgrimages to Glendalough.

Temple na Skellig

The ruins of this small church are located at the base of the cliffs on the southern shore of the Upper Lake. The site is not safely accessible to visitors, but may be viewed from the Miners' Road, across the lake. West of the church is a raised platform with stone enclosure walls, where dwelling huts probably stood. The church was partly rebuilt in the 12th century.

St. Kevin's Bed

St. Kevin's Bed is a small cave in the cliff to the east of Temple ne Skellig. The entrance is about 8 metres above the lake. Please note that the site is not safely accessible, and has been the site of many serious accidents. It may be viewed from the Miner's Road, across the lake. The cave runs back 2 metres into the cliff and was reputedly a retreat for St. Kevin and later for St. Laurence O'Toole.

St. Kevin's Bed - the small square opening in the cliff.

St. Kevin's Cell

Originally a small bee-hive hut, today only a circle of base stones remain to mark its location on a rocky spur over the Upper Lake.

Reefert Church

The remains of Reefert Church are situated in a woodland setting, on the south-eastern shore of the Upper Lake close to the Information Office. Reefert derives its name from the Irish ‘Righ Fearta’ meaning burial place of the kings (referring to the local rulers - the O'Toole family). It dates from the eleventh century and is likely to have been built on the site of an earlier church. The church and graveyard were originally surrounded by a stone wall enclosure known in Gaelic as a 'caiseal'. Most of the present surrounding walls however are modern. The upper parts of the church walls were re-built over 100 years ago using the original stones.

Reefert Church


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