The medieval church of Portloman is located on the western banks of Lough Owel. The ruins that can still be visited today are thought to be 800 years old, though there was an even earlier wooden church built before this by St. Loman.
St. Loman was born in 590AD in a nearby ringfort and was supposedly a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages. St. Loman was deeply religious and used to pray all day, there are stories about how he used to levitate when he prayed and that birds used to follow him when he walked the nearby hill of Frewin.
When St. Loman established his church by the lake there was lots of deadly diseases and plagues in Ireland. St. Loman protected his people by taking a plough and carving a large boundary (now the parish of Portloman) anyone inside this line was safe from illness. For generations locals started ploughing their fields on St. Loman’s feast day (February 7th) after traditional prayers were recited at sunrise.
The stone church that we can see today was attacked and burned by the MacGeogheghan clan in the 1400’s. In the 1500’s the church fell into decline because of King Henry VIII confiscation of church property.
Near the church are standing stones, a motte, barrows and graves from the 18th and 19th centuries.