The magnificent Romanesque doorway of this church containing sculpted heads of people, animals and birds dates to the 12th century. The ruins of the church show evidence of successive periods of re-building and repair. The round tower on the church grounds was badly damaged by Cromwellian cannon fire in the 17th century an attack which must also have severly damaged the church. This area of Dysart O’Dea was the scene of a decisive battle which began on May 10th 1318 and delivered a crushing defeat to Anglo-Norman forces at the hands of local Chieftans.
Glendalough (valley of 2 lakes) is one Irelands most important monastic sites. Founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century it prospered until it was destroyed by Norman invaders in 1214 ad. Laurence O’Toole Irelands first canonised saint was abbot at Glendalough near the time of its destruction