Be "Fore" and after
The ancient Christian ruins of Fore which lie in a valley between two ranges of hills are associated with St. Fechin who founded a monastery here around 630 A.D.
Approx. 300 monks were living at the Abbey by the time St. Fechin died of the yellow plague in 665 A.D. Between 771 and 1169 A.D. Fore was burnt 12 times.
St. Fechin's Church, a roofless navel and chancel with walls almost 3 ft thick, was built in two periods - the navel in the 11th century and the chancel in the early 13th century. Local opinion believes that the church goes back to the time of St. Fechin and legend claims that the huge lintel and its west doorway which shows a Greek cross with a circle, was magically placed there by St. Fechin himself on the strength of his prayers, a feat known as one of the Seven Wonders of Fore.
In the 13th century the de Lacys who were Norman landlords built a Bendictine priory in the valley nearby. Some of the buildings that remain are from the 15th century and have been restored throughout this century making Fore Abbey the largest group of Benedictine remains in Ireland. Its 13th century church still has some docorations and graceful arcaded cloisters.
Attached to the church are the broken walls of two towers, where the monks once lived.
In the hillside above the old church of St. Fechin is a tiny chapel, the Anchorite's Church, an extension to a cell once occupied by hermits until the 17th century. Tradition states that the last hermit in Ireland was Patrick Beglan stayed here and is commemorated on a stone tablet in the cell.
The chapel is kept locked and the key can be obtained from the Seven Wonders Pub nearby.The stone gateways to the medieval village of FORE can still be seen at either end of the village. There are other lesser-known antuquities in the immediate vicinity, not least are the "Fore Crosses", the finest of which is the cross set in the middle of FORE.