Whitechurch, County Kildare

Whitechurch is a townland, monastic site, and former parish situated between Straffan and Kill county Kildare near the M7 motorway in Ireland.

Etymology and history

The name comes from the White Friars who had a monastery on the site established in 1300 and enfifed in 1506. The church was vacated by the early 1600s.

Medieval landmarks

A well-preserved moated site at Puddlehall dates to the 1200s and was cited by University College Dublin Professor Sean O Riordain as one of the finest examples of a moated house in Ireland. The remains of a castle are also to be found on the church grounds.

Calendar and civil paper references

Ecclesia Templi Albi was granted to the order of St John in 1300. In 1508 William Preston enfifed Archdeacon Robert Sutton and Thomas Cornwalshe, Vicar of Stamullen, with the manor of Whitechurch (alias Tullaghtipper), "containing the town and lands of le Tunryng (alias Surnyng), Clonyng, Killenmore, Killbregaghe, Killussy, Rathmore, Collenbakeston, Ardress, Cloghle, Osberiston and Clanswhiche".In 1541 the tithes of the Rectory of Whitechurch (18 couples of grain, £12) were held by David Sutton and Richard Aylmer. In 1557 Patrick Sarsfield of Tisteldalen, great great granduncle of Patrick Sarsfield of Siege of Limerick fame, obtained a pardon from the English colonial government and in 1560 obtained the lease of White Church alias Tullatipper. Whitechurch and Lyons castles are identified on map by Baptista Boazio and Renold Elstrack in 1599 – a copy can be viewed at the public library in Tallaght Local Landowners in the 1654 civil survey include Alerian, Weisley of Daingan, John Bath of Culpe, William Sarsfield of Lucan, Edward Allen of Bishopscourt and Robert Rochford of Kilbride. Maurice Eustace of Whitechurch was named by his father in a 1663 letter to Lord Justice of Ireland.

Whitechurch/Baronrath attack on train line

Whitechurch resident Christy Phelan engages men planting bomb on railway line near Baronrath, Straffan, designed to derail train for Bodenstown commemoration. He is stabbed to death but prevents greater loss of life through his intervention (June 22). The bomb exploded eight minutes after the train had passed by. The death is still the subject of investigation into "deniable" operations by British forces in Ireland.


  • Ardclough Churches 1985 Souvenir Brochure.
  • Corry, Eoghan and Tancred, Jim: Annals of Ardclough (Ardclough GAA 2004).
  • Journals of the Kildare Archaeological Society: Volume III : 483. Volume IV : 114 Volume V : 406

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