Places

From Santa Claus to Cromwell in Galway

The church of St Nicholas in Galway has a treasure trove of stories. It is linked however tenuously in some cases to the Knights Templars, Santa Claus, Christopher Columbus and Oliver Cromwell. It is also said to be the largest medieval parish church in Ireland still in use. Galway’s bustling market surrounds it on Saturday’s and local and international musical groups ranging from traditional to choral occasionally fill it with music. There are stone carvings of mermaids and gargoyles protect the vaulted south porch and throw water of the roof through their spout holes.  Read more »

Corcomroe - Dragons, Flowers and an O'Brien Effigy

Corcomroe Abbey is an early 13th century Cistercian foundation nestled at the head of a south west facing valley in the northern portion of the Burren in Co. Clare. On a recent family camping trip to Fanore we stopped off at the Abbey for a look around and were rewarded by a beautifully presented and partly re-roofed ruin. A well tended graveyard with some modern graves, surround the ruin to the south and east. The interior of the Abbey is also covered in memorial stones some dating to the late 17th century.

The dedication of the Abbey is to St Mary of the fertile rock which could really be a description of the Burren as a whole; a place noted for its barren rocky moonlike appearance but also for the richness and diversity of the flora.  Read more »

DIY Graveyard Survey and Online Publication

Margaret Corcoran attended our second ever Historic Graves workshop at Kilmanman graveyard in Co. Laois. Margaret must have enjoyed the day as she signed up to return to Kilmanman at a later date for more. We spent two further mornings in Kilmanman graveyard surveying with one afternoon in Clonaslee community centre and the other in the Laois Leader offices in Portlaoise. The afternoon sessions were spent exploring the website and working through the process of uploading that mornings geotagged photographs. Margaret wanted to record and publish her own local historic graveyard in Portnahinch, Co. Laois and we hoped to give her the tools to make this happen. Read more »

A 13th century face from Ennisnag in Kilkenny

In the porch of St Peters Church in Ennisnag (http://www.historicgraves.ie/graveyard/st-peters/kk-spen) is a 13th century graveslab which is inscribed Johannes Filius Galfridi (John Fitz Geoffry). The slab was situated in the eastern portion of the graveyard and was relocated to the porch some time after 1952.
The lovely little booklet 'St. Peters Church, Ennisnag', produced by the local community, tells us that Johannes may be the son of Geoffrey who founded the Priory of Kells in 1193. Note the hairstyle and look out for a photograph which we will publish next week which shows the skill of the stonecarve.

The McGrath Tomb in Lismore, Co. Waterford

On a recent trip to the south coast of Ireland we took in the well known delights of Killarney and Kinsale and ended our southern sojourn in the  historic town of Lismore, in County Waterford. Read more »

The start of a survey at Barony graveyard, Lisdowney, North Kilkenny

Just in from a great day spent with the Lisdowney historic graveyard group. We ran a training workshop in Barony graveyard for the Kilkenny Leader Partnership and in collaboration with Kilkenny County Council Heritage officer (see their innovative historic graveyard mapping system here). One of our key tools for the first day of a survey is Geosetter, which we use to check the accuracy of the gps camera. Here we can see that 32 of the 34 photographs taken are plotting within the graveyard but you can't see two errant readings which are over a field away. Test plotting in the field allows such errant readings to be corrected, on the fly. Read more »

Bohermore’s Victorian Cemetery - Resting Place of the Famous

Victorian Cemeteries

Bohermore graveyard in Galway, or the ‘new cemetery’ as it is called was opened in 1880. The cemetery contains two mortuary chapels – the western chapel was reserved for Catholic usage and the eastern one for Protestant use - and a caretaker’s lodge close to the entrance gates.

  Read more »

A video tour of the British Cemetery in Funchal, Madeira

The British Cemetery in very accessible in Funchal town centre and should be on every tourist's itinerary if they have any interest in history. Over ten different nationalities are represented in the two sections of the cemetery as Funchal was a key node in global trade networks.

This video was recorded and edited using an Apple iPod Touch.

The Jewish Cemetery in Funchal, Madeira

The Jewish Cemetery can be found at the western end of the Rua da Lazareto in Funchal. Founded in 1851 it is walled and gated but unfortunately the gate is locked and the interior is overgrown (you have to climb onto the enclosure wall to get a look inside). The International Jewish Cemetery Project has no further detail but a strimmer and a couple of willing hands could have this graveyard cleaned-up and surveyed in a short week. Read more »

The Church of the Seven Daughters - Renvyle

Introduction to Renvyle Church and Graveyard

During the bitterly cold but beautifully crisp weather before Christmas last year I visited the picturesque church and graveyard at the western end of Renvyle peninsula.
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