Oughter Ard

Oughter Ard

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Oughter Ard

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Uachtar Árd (Oughterard or Oughter Ard in the English language) is an ecclesiastical site, graveyard, townland, and formerly a parish, borough and royal manor in County Kildare, nowadays part of the community of Ardclough, close to the Dublin border. It is the burial place and probable birthplace of Arthur Guinness.


The round tower and ancient monastery is associated with a nunnery establish by Brigit of Kildare.

This monastery was under the patronage of a local branch of the Uí Dúnlainge dynasty which rotated the kingship of Leinster between 750-1050. In that period ten Uí Dúnchada Kings of Leinster established their base at nearby Lyons Hill. Their cousins patronised the monastery of Kildare and Glendalough.

Royal Manor

Ougherard became a Royal Manor and Borough in the 12th century and a ruined castle nearby dates to 1300. Plough headlands from medieval times can still be seen in fields adjoining the churchyard.

Medieval Landmarks

Recent research by archaeological historian Mike O'Neill has established the ruined church on the site dates to c. 1350 and not, as previously thought, 1609. The ruined church is now entered through one of the windows, as both original doorways serve as mausoleums. The 8th century round tower, one of five in County Kildare, is in a good state of repair, but it is topless and only the first 8 metres remain. A small ruined castle tower stands about 300 metres south-east of the graveyard.

Destruction and Restoration

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