When visiting Inishmore, this is one of the stops people visit. Without a guide, you might not know what you are looking at unless you have done some research beforehand. My wife and I were on a tour so we had a guide who explained what we were seeing. Tempull Breccain (Church of Brecan), commonly called the Seven Churches of Aran, is a complex of churches and other buildings dedicated to the 5th-century Saint Brecan, once a popular destination for pilgrims. Seven Churches is one of the biggest monastic foundations and centres of pilgrimage along the west coast of Ireland. Brecan is believed to have come here in the earliest period from Kilbrecan near Quin in County Clare. Tradition on the island has it that his foundation rivalled St Enda’s foundation in the east of the island. Indeed the two saints are held to have eventually agreed to divide the island between them. Although termed ‘the seven churches,’ there are in fact only two churches with a number of domestic buildings. The title seven is possibly an allusion to the pilgrimage circuit of Rome which incorporated seven churches. This is still an active graveyard, but there are strict rules on who can be buried here. The guide explained it, but I do not recall all the details. Of course, one had to be born here; however, that were many other limitations. Suffice it to say, there are only a dozen or so inhabitants left on the island who qualify. They are all in their 80s.