Teampall Bheanáin

Teampall Bheanáin (‘the temple of St. Beanán’) is a tiny church
situated high on the ridge of a hill overlooking Cuan Chill Éinne (Cill
Éinne bay). On your way up you will pass a holy well Tobar na mBráthar
(‘the well of the friars’). In field to your left you will see another holy
well ‘Dabhach Éinne’ (‘Éanna’s well’) as well as the base of an
11th century high cross, further fragments of which are found in Teaghlach Éinne.
A little further up the hill, is the stump of a round tower reported to have been
30m tall in the early 19th century, but later demolished by a storm. All these
buildings formed part of the medieval monastery of Cill Éinne (see 2. Teaghlach
Beanán is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick in the 5th century, but the
church that bears his name was built in the 11th century using similar techniques
to those seen in Teaghlach Éinne. Teampall Bheanáin is tiny, a mere 6m2 inside.
It was probably not used for worship, but may have housed important relics,
perhaps parts of the remains of Beanán, or a bell or crosier associated with him.
Its prominent position on the brow of the hill is significant; from this exposed
hilltop the relics cast their protective power over the bay, and the entire island.
Likewise Teampall Bheanáin, along with the round tower,would have been highly
visible to medieval pilgrims arriving to the island by boat, and were powerful
symbols of the prosperity and importance of Cill Éinne.

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