CHURCH OF ST. JOSEPH & ST. CONAL (R.C.), Bruckless
Church of St. Joseph and St. Conal, Bruckless
From Buildings of Ireland:
"This prominent and well-detailed belltower associated with Catholic Church of SS Joseph & Conal (40909801) is a local landmark and an interesting addition to the built heritage of the local area. It is constructed in the form of an early Medieval round tower, harking back to the golden era of the Church in Ireland, which is an appropriate form for an ecclesiastic structure of its type. It is robustly-built using local rubble stone and has high quality rock-faced masonry to the openings and smooth ashlar detailing to the conical roof that is clearly the work of skilled masons, and helps to give this structure a strong architectural character. This structure was originally built to serve an earlier Catholic church to site, which was described by Lewis in 1837 as in the ‘course of erection'.
This church later burnt to the ground in 1912 resulting in the construction of the new chapel adjacent. Rowan (1979) suggests that this tower was rebuilt in the nineteenth-century on older foundations, although it is not recorded as an archaeological structure. The use of rock-faced masonry is reminiscent of railway and bridge architecture in Ireland dating from c. 1860 – 1880, which suggests it was originally built around this time. Freestanding belltowers are a feature found at many early post-Catholic Emancipation churches in Ireland, which is indicative of the relative lark of resources available to the church at the time. This fine structure is a prominent landmark along the main road from Donegal Town to Killybegs, and forms an interesting pair of related structures along with the associated adjacent church."