ANTIQUITIES of IRELAND
Sleaty Early ChristianChurch
LOCATION
From Carlow Town, head north on the Dublin road ( R417 ) until you reach the roundabout for the N80. Take the N80,
west, over the River barrow until you come to the Sleaty roundabout. Take the 3rd exit. Drive for approx; 1.5 km and Sleaty
church is on the right-hand side. It is a National Monument and access is not restricted but please close the gate after your
visit.
The present church of Sleaty is from the medieval period but the first monastery on the site dates
from the 6th-7th century. St. Fiach’s first monastery was on the south side of the River Barrow but
after 60 of his monks had died, he moved the monastery to this site, north of the river. St. Fiach was
a Bishop of all Leinster during St. Patrick’s lifetime. One of the most famous abbots of the
monastery was Aedh who lived in the 7th century and who was one of the first biographers of St.
Patrick, and dictated a Life of St. Patrick & made the monastery a centre for studies dealing with St.
Patrick. The last reference to the monastery in is 1055. Two undecorated granite crosses belong to this
early Christian period.
SLEATY CHURCH, COUNTY LAOIS