The Seven Churches (also known as Dísert Bhreacáin) are located on the west end of Inis Mor near the village of Eoghnacht. Despite the name there are only two churches now standing with a number of the remains of small domestic buildings. These smaller buildings were probably used as houses for the monks. Back in the times of the Middle Ages this would have been the most important pilgrimage site on the island rivalling St Enda’s Church, located on the opposite side of the island. It is believed the Irish church encouraged people to go on pilgrimages to remote places in Ireland, so the Aran Islands was a popular spot. Here also remain the 11th Century High Crosses, which are truly fascinating.
The remains of St Brecan’s Church are still standing and is believed to be dated back to the 8th-13th century. It consists of an impressive arch, nave and chancel. In the west gable stand lies an inscribed stone reading ‘OR AR 11 CANOIN’ which means ‘Pray for the Two Canons’. Also standing is ‘Teampall an Phoill’ (the Church of the Hollow). This is a 15th century church smaller and simpler in style, consisting of fragments of decorated crosses and inscribed stones and graves. One of these beautiful crosses has ‘V11 ROMANI’ (The Seven Romans) written on it along with finely carved with geometric celtic design. This is a beautiful site to photograph as the arches and long stone windows are most unusual. If you happen to be exploring the island of Inis Mor, make sure not to pass by!