The full Irish name is Cill Mhuire na nGall (Kilmurry of the foreigners) which means “Church of the foreigners dedicated to Mary’. It is said that Norman adventurers, under De Clare, built, if not restored, a church outside the village circa 1300 and hence the name.
Kilmurrynagaul is described in Lewis’ Topographicai Dictionary of Ireland, 1837 as follows:
A parish, in the barony of Tulla, county of Clare, and province of Munster, 2/4 miles (N. by W.) from Sixmilebridge, on the road to Tulla, containing 628 inhabitants. It comprises 2199 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, mostly under tillage: the state of agriculture has of late been much improved, chiefly through the exertions of T. Studdert, Esq. of Kilkishen, whose residence, a handsome mansion surrounded by a well-wooded and highly-improved demesne, is within the limits of this parish, and adjoining the village of Kilkishen, in the parish of Clonlea. It is in the diocese of Killaloe, the rectory forms the rectorial union of Ogashin, and the vicarage part of the union of Kiifinaghty. The tithes amount to £78-9-2/4, of which £41l09hI4 is payable to the rector, and the remainder to the vicar.
In the R C. divisions it is part of the union or district of Sixmilebridge, and has a chapel near the village of Kilmurry. The ruins of the
old church still remain in the burial ground, and within the limits of the parish are the ruined castles of Rossroe, Kilmurry and Kilkishen; the last stands in Mr. Studderts’ demesne.
Kilmurry Parish is described by J. Frost in his “History and Topography of Co. Clare as follows:
Although this parish is so-called after the B.V.M. there is no reason to suppose that it was originally dedicated to some Irish saint. A holy well, a little way from the site of the church, is called Tobar Faoile after the virgin saint of that name who had a religious establishment at Ath Cliath Meadhraidhe in the county of Galway and another near Limerick from which the parish of Killeely is designated. Of the church itself not a trace remains but the graveyard surrounding it is greatly used by the people of the neighbouring country as a place of burial.