>I asked at the B&B about possible traces of the old monastery (they
>are a very knowledgeable family), but was told that they didn't know
>of any. G&H don't mention any existing ruins, either.
First, thanks for the book references. When I was in Tulla, I poked around
the ruins of the 18th Century church at the top of the hill, and I've always
been under the assumption that was where the monestary once stood too.
Certainly, I've seen that fact referenced in various places, like at
Tulla means hill and supposedly is short for tullach naApsel (sp?), which
means "hill of the apostles," though there is some speculation that Tulla is
derived from something that means "hill of the bishops.
Either way, given the history of the name, I'm convinced that, indeed, the
monestary site was that hilltop. Unfortunately, I suspect, whatever ruins of
the monestary ever extisted were razed centuries ago to make way for the the
church that, itself, is now in ruins.
Contributing to this loss, I suspect, is the fact that the entire hilltop
now is a cemetary -- even the ground that once was *inside* the sanctuary is
filled with graves. I recall that the graves in the older part of the
cemetary, inside and closest to the church (and significantly at the crown
of the hill), were especially packed together -- I remember slight guilt at
the near impossiblity of avoiding stepping graves.
All that's to say that not only was evidence of Mochulla's monestary above
ground likely destroyed, but given the virtual blanket of graves, that
destruction continues six feet down.
As well, the cemetary would make any dig especially problematic from a
I suppose some of the stones in the ruined church might have once been part
of the monestary, though that's utter speculation, but plausible given
similar recycling thoughout the Brittish Isles.
P.S. I wish I had known of the Tulla Tomeens (caves of underground
stream/river) when I was there. Did you see these? Are they worth a
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com