Trip Planner: Europe / Ireland / Western Ireland / Province of Connacht / County Galway / Aran Islands / Inishmore / Teampall Bhean'in
The oratory Teampall Bheanáin (Irish pronunciation: [ˈtʲamˠpˠəl̪ˠ ˈvʲaːnʲaːnʲ]; meaning "Benan's Temple") is situated near Kilronan on Inishmore, Aran, Galway Bay, Ireland. A unique example of Celtic church construction. It marks the location of the original monastic settlement founded by Benen, a disciple of St. Patrick, the national saint of Ireland. It dates from the 11th century, and has stood unaltered a thousand years.Put Teampall Bhean'in at the forefront of your travel plans using our Inishmore trip builder site.
It is not a conventional church in the sense of its ability to hold a congregation. It is reasonably assumed to be the tomb-shrine of the saint. This ensured its survival when the adjacent round tower and medieval monastery were recycled to fortify the now-ruined Cromwellian coastal fortress nearby.
The oratory is situated high on a ridge, which dominates the windward southeast sea approach to the main island port. Roofless and with unusually high squared gables it cuts a striking, almost oriental silhouette against the skyline, even though internally it measures a tiny 3.2 m x 2.1 m. It is formed from massive blocks of stone (a single slab forms a half of one side), and is bonded by mortar and very careful fitting. Its thick walls are pierced by a traveated (three beam) narrow north doorway with inclining jambs, and cut away lintel. A small east window with a single stone semi-circular head keeps a vigil towards the mainland of Ireland. The altar faces south rather than east/west which is the usual position, though the symbolism of this is not known.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
Teampall Bhean'in reviews
Worth a hike up for the stunning view. And touching history -built in 484ad. Very peaceful as its off the beaten track.
Worth a hike up for the stunning view. And touching history -built in 484ad. Very peaceful as its off the beaten track. more »
TEAMPALL BHEAN’IN (ST BENAN’S CHURCH) One of the smallest churches in Europe, This is reputedly the smallest church in Ireland. It stands atop a hill overlooking Cill Éinne Bay. In contrast with...
TEAMPALL BHEAN’IN (ST BENAN’S CHURCH) One of the smallest churches in Europe, This is reputedly the smallest church in Ireland. It stands atop a hill overlooking Cill Éinne Bay. In contrast with... more »
Worth the climb to see the church and the stunning scenery around !!
Amazing views of the island. Worth the hike up.
Plan your trip to Inishmore
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Inishmore
Hidden gems in Inishmore
Nearby attractions in Inishmore
Historic Sites in Inishmore
Kid-friendly things to do in Inishmore
Parks in Inishmore
Trips in Teampall Bhean'in by other users
5 days in Inishmore BY A USER FROM UKRAINE Inishmore Playground Dive Academy - Scuba Diving School Teampall Chiarain 35 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM POLAND Dublin Galway Westport 9 days in County Galway BY A USER FROM MALTA Galway Inishmore Leenane 18 days in Ireland's West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Dingle Killarney Kinsale 27 days in Glasgow, Belfast & Ireland's West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Glasgow Belfast Galway 34 days in County Galway BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Clifden Inisheer Inishmore