Recently I started making little churches to sell alongside my little Irish cottages on Etsy. When people have a little tiny house it seems to trigger a desire to have a little tiny village and I received requests to make some other buildings. I came up with a design for a little whitewashed stone church, wanting it to be contemporary to the little cottage and distinctly Irish looking at the same time. I based it on the beautiful church at Gougane Barra in West Cork, known as St. Finbarr's Oratory, which was built in the 19th century on an ancient monastic site.
Another famous Irish church with this distinctive shape is St. Kevin's Church in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. This church also has a round tower belfry and a smaller chapel attached, and was built in the 12th century.
This monastic oratory shape with its distinctive sharply pitched roof dates far back into Ireland's Christian history, to the dry stone churches such as Saint Macdara's dotey little chapel in Connemara and the primitive looking Gallarus Oratory in Dingle, Co. Kerry. You can read more about Ireland's monastic churches here. A reconstruction of such monastic oratories has been built in the Irish National Heritage Park in Co. Wexford, which is particulary pretty.
My little paperclay Irish churches and cottages are available in my Etsy shop and each one is made to order, hand sculpted and painted. Watch for new little buildings coming soon!