The Mystery of the Painted Stone

Work is presently ongoing in Tuam on a new road which links Shop Street and Bishops Street and runs along the banks of the River Nanny. Prior to construction of the road we got the chance to excavate the subsurface remains of what is known as Garvey’s Mill. The site of a mill is well documented on a number of old maps of the town dating back to Morris’s map which was drawn in 1720. Nial O’Neil led the excavations and revealed three main phases of development on the site with the final phase corresponding to the outline of the buildings on the 1838 Ordnance Survey map of the town and Bourke’s 1863 map.  Read more »

Clonbern Graveyard Its Monuments & People

While in Charlie Byrnes Bookshop in Galway last Saturday I picked up a copy of Clonbern Graveyard Its Monuments and People, a book recently published by the Follies Trust. The publication marks the conservation of a rare and unusual cast iron mausoleum located in Clonbern graveyard in north Co. Galway. It is the final resting place of John and Maurice Dennis. Read more »

Multi-platform Graveyard Survey Publication

The Survey and Publication Process

The Historic Graves project outlines a system and sequence which helps to co-ordinate and standardise an historic graveyard survey.

A Must For All Graveyard Enthusiasts

The Historic Graves project has had the pleasure of working with Gerry Mullins on a number of our Graveyard recording workshops. Gerry has recently launched a new book Kilnahue Churchyard Gorey: A survey of the Iconography and Inscriptions. He is an expert on the iconography and symbols used on Irish grave memorials.Graveyards and memorial stones are rich in iconography and symbols whose meanings would have sung out to the people who commissioned and erected the stones. We have partly lost the ability to understand the symbols and what they represent. Consequently we can sometimes find the experience of walking around old graveyards as silent journeys through stories we are no longer able to read or hear. Read more »

Personal memories related to National Commemoration Day 2011 in Ireland

Today, the 10th of July 2011, is a National Day of Commemoration for servicemen and women who have died in wars or in service with the United Nations. Nearly every family in Ireland will have a story that relates to family members who died in service. My own great-grandfather is commemorated in Thiepval having died in WWI and I will tell his story here some other day.

For today I will relate a personal memory from 1980. We grew up in married quarters in Collin's Barracks on the NE side of Cork city. Married quarters consisted of four large accomodation blocks which held about thirty families from throughout Ireland but I seem to remember a decidedly Tipperary bias to the families origins, there were Burkes, Lonergans and Hogans. The families came together on a weekly basis for mass in what I think is called the Garrison Chapel while the broader community (servicemen and families) came together for Passing Out ceremonies, Christmas parties and less regularly, army funerals. Read more »

Momento Mori and Gravestone Memorials

 John Tierney of Historic Graves on a recent trip to Edinburgh in Scotalnd to talk at the Digital Futures Conference took the accompanying photograph in the graveyard known as the Kirk of CanongateMemento Mori are reminders of our mortality. They have come back into vogue recently and can be used to nudge people towards better behaviour. This idea of gentle persuasion or nudging has been developed by Thaler and Sunstein in their seminal popular psychology book called ‘Nudge’. Read more »

BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed - discussion on corporeality and memorialisation

Professor Laurie Taylor on BBC 4's Thinking Allowed is worth a weekly listen and today his discussion with Dr. Kate Woodthorpe delves deeply into modern, East London, attitudes to death, burial, bodies and cemeteries.



Hyperlocal journalism and historic graveyards in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare

As a hyperlocal heritage project we find it easy to spot top quality hyperlocal journalism  - our friends in Kilcullen gave us a write-up in their blog, as well as in the Kildare Nationalist. Des Travers led the way in historic graveyard recording in Kilcullen and it has been a pleasure to work with Des on their project. We have some high precision GPS tracks from Des' work and we will combine them with the historic memorial photographs previously recorded.

The Kilcullen community are an excellent example of the crucial role heritage plays in rural development; if a community values its past it will inevitably value its present members too - resulting in higher quality engagement with the challenges and opportunities of today.



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