Take Me to Church – It’s For Sale


Irish people have a very complicated relationship with the Church, and Hozier ain’t gonna be buying this gaff any time soon. But as religion declines in popularity, properties like these are slowly coming onto the market. Nicole Buckler pretends she will be buying this soon.


Look at this Church for sale. Even a staunch atheist would get a kick out of living in one of these gaffs. This is a total find for history buffs and for those interested in uncomplicating their relationship with the church. If you buy this you can worship yourself at your own altar. I’m a fan of the idea.

Erected in the 1820s, this historic Church at Coolbawn, near Nenagh, Tipperary is on the market for €195,000. Not only is it a historic stone church, but the property also has a schoolhouse ruin on it. Imagine the fun you could have in here. I’d restore it just to have a back-to-school party in it. Although I doubt my uniform would still fit.


This gaff sits on Lough Derg, the one in Tipperary and not the one of the same name further north. (Why oh why are there two loughs of the same name in Ireland?) It also comes with 7 acres of land, so you can farm your own animals and insects or spuds or whatever the hell will grow there. You can worship your rows of cabbage and turnips and chickens destined to be nuggets. And if that doesn’t bring you closer to God then I don’t know what will.


The property is a typical “Board of First Fruits” church. So what the hell is a Board of First Fruits church? Thank God (in this case the Christian one) for Wikipedia. The Board of First Fruits was an institution of the British Church of Ireland that was established in 1711 by Queen Anne. The idea was to tax the bejesus out of the mostly Catholic peasants to build and improve churches and glebe houses in Ireland. These taxes were called tithes.

Now we get to the bad bit. Most people in Ireland at the time were Catholic, and were told to pay tithes to the Church of Ireland (which was not Catholic). For Catholics, Jews and Quakers it was a tax to fund the very institution that they felt was oppressing them. Protests against this situation led to the Tithe wars in the 19th century.

While we don’t pay tithes today thankfully, this church is one that was funded by tithes. So if you can swallow that bit of history without throwing up a little in your nose, there are plusses to come. There has been some renovation work carried out to weatherproof the building. But the surrounding cemetery, gateway and avenue remain unaltered. Did I just say cemetery? Okay so while I wouldn’t want to own a cemetery, it would be a good venue for a Halloween party. Imagine the craic and the disrespect all at once.


The property is accessed via a tree-lined avenue with wrought iron gate to public road. The exterior looks like it always did…like a creepy old church where you go to purge out your sins and pray to not pay tithes. The original slate roof still hangs on top and it still has its elegant lancet windows. But even for people who have a very strained relationship with the church, the idea of this as a private property means you just can’t look away.

And how’s this for a cool feature — there is a three-stage bell tower to the west and a lower chancel to the east. When I get rich enough to have a butler I’m gonna call him with that bell so much that he will sincerely wish me dead.

You have all the usual church garnishings here, like stained glass, and lancets to the tower with lattice glazing to second stage and louvres to third. The tower door is timber battened.

So while Hozier is going to pass on this property, that’s good news for you and me cos he’s way richer than all of us put together.

For further details, maps, plans, brochure and historical background, or just to make a wild offer, click here.


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