Emlaghfad Church
The Old parish church of Emlaghfad

Outside of Ballymote standing on a hill lies the old parish Church of Elmaghfad, called anciently Tulach Segra where it’s said that Saint Colmcille founded a church there, placed his disciple Enna there whose festival falls on the 18th September.
The graveyard itself is fairly crowded, and there are many pauper graves known only by a simple rock at the head of the grave to mark the spot. The church itself started off as Catholic but with the introduction of the Penal laws the church was taken and given to the Church of Ireland. There are many family names in the graveyard but most notable are the number of plots belonging to the Phibbs of Seafield.
The Church itself is of mid 18th Century (1745) design but was later replaced in 1818 by the church that is within the town of Ballymote. It’s said that the church itself is built on a star shaped fort and archaeologicxal research on the site confirms this There is said to be a tunnel running from the south of the church, on archaeological investigation no trace of a tunnel could be found though however many people have found the tunnel and have wondered into it only to find it bricked up. It’s said too, that attached to it was one of the hospitals, founded by St. Attracta, the patroness of the diocese of Achonry.

According to the Archaeological Survey Database on theses sites:

On the 6th Century
A monastery at Emlaghfad was founded by St Colmcille in the 6th century (Gwynn and Hadcock 1970, 383). According to M. A. Timoney (1995a, 34), ‘traces of an enclosure’ can be seen in Emlaghfad graveyard (SL033-144002-) to the SE and S of the ruins of the C of I church, ‘where there is a change in the ground level, the area around [the church] is higher’.
On the Church itself:
On the flat summit of a hill, within a possible ecclesiastical enclosure and in the centre of Emlaghfad graveyard (SL033-144002-). The roofless ruin of a rectangular church (int. dims. 21.3m E-W; 6.2m N-S) with a square 3-storey tower (int. L 3.8m) at its W end. Though the style of the windows and doorways throughout the structure is uniformly 18th century and dates to the use of the building as a C of I parish church (SL033-144006-), the side-walls are noticeably thinner (by c. 0.2m) at its W end (L c. 6m). This suggests that the core of the E end may be that of the medieval parish church though no architectural features of that period are evident. The church is entered through a doorway in the W wall of the tower. This has a limestone door-surround with block-and-start jambs and a prominent keystone. The ground and second floors of the tower and the body of the church are lit by windows with surrounds in the style of the entrance doorway (all are blocked up). The first floor of the tower has oculus windows. The W end of the church interior is overgrown with elder trees and a mature evergreen tree fills its E end. The latter area contains a number of 19th-century headstones and one rectangular slab, lying on the ground, with a date of 1709. Floor timbers are missing from the tower, whose external walls are covered with ivy. There are pyramid pinnacles on the top of its corners. By the 1830s a new C of I parish church for Emlaghfad had been built in Ballymote (McTernan 1995; 1997; M. B. Timoney 1996), 1.2km to the NNW. A stretch of the road known as Bothar an Corann (SL033-145—-) is c. 0.5km to the N.

The above description is derived from the published ‘Archaeological Inventory of County Sligo’ compiled by Ursula Egan, Elizabeth Byrne, Mary Sleeman with Sheila Ronan and Connie Murphy (Dublin Stationery Office, 2005).
On the Star Shaped fort:
In pasture, on the flat summit of a hill with excellent views of the surrounding countryside. An earthen platform (73m N-S; 90m E-W) defined by a scarp (max. H 0.65-0.8m), eroded in places and with a low internal lip (Wth 1.6-1.8m; H 0.2m), is evident outside the E, S and W sides of the graveyard (SL033-144002-) at Emlaghfad. The expanded and slightly rounded corners of this platform project 15-18m beyond the corners of the graveyard. Midway along each of its three sides, the platform is indented to within 8-9m of the graveyard wall. A N-S road, immediately outside the W wall of the graveyard, cuts through the W side of the platform, bordering the NW projecting corner as well as truncating the SW projecting corner. The SE corner remains intact while the NE corner is incorporated into a field boundary. A disused 19th-century house overlies the W end of the S side of the earthwork. There are no visible remains of the earthwork on the N side of the graveyard. Many mature trees and bushes grow on the platform. While the function of this earthwork remains uncertain, its star-shaped ground plan is suggestive of a bastioned fort.

The above description is derived from the published ‘Archaeological Inventory of County Sligo’ compiled by Ursula Egan, Elizabeth Byrne, Mary Sleeman with Sheila Ronan and Connie Murphy (Dublin Stationery Office, 2005)