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.

A cemetery at Monte, Madeira

In February 2010 the island of Madeira was hit by a series of storms which resulted in major floods and landslides, causing at least 42 deaths. The floods and mudlsides appeared in the world's media (Sky, CNN, Youtube) but little is heard of the disaster today as newer envromental catastrophies have struck other countries. But the cemeteries of Madeira do provide some insights into the human costs of the storms. Read more »

Aghaboe Graveyard - History, Surveys and Stories

Introduction to Aghaboe

The Aghaboe abbey preservation committee have been in existence since the 1970s and  as a result of their work there are few better examples in the country of how to conserve and maintain an historic graveyard. Aghaboe has a rich historical and archaeological background with upstanding remains of a Dominican Friary and an Anglo Norman motte and bailey castle. The present Church of Ireland building was built on the site of an Augustinian monastery which in turn replaced the early christian monastery founded by St Canice in no later than 577 AD. Prominent amongst his successors at Aghaboe was St Virgilius, who was Bishop of Salzburg between 749-84 AD.

Workshop at Kilmanman, Co. Laois

Our visiting gravestone memorial iconography expert, Gerry Mullins, got very excited in Kilmanman graveyard, during the second of the Historic Graves, graveyard recording workshops in Co. Laois on Saturday the 2nd of April. Gerry was there to assist on the day and quickly became the star of the show because of his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the gravestone memorials.
The day followed the format set during the first workshop, with the twenty participants alternating between three activities; photography and GPS, surveying and gravestone memorial recording. The fieldwork was undertaken in the morning and was followed by talks and live uploading demonstrations back in Clonaslee community centre in the afternoon. Read more »

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.


The ethics of human skeletal remains reburial in the UK - thoughts by Mike Pitts

'On the other hand, they are relics of real people. We should treat them with respect – because we are human, and they are physical links with humans. '

Some interesting thoughts by Mike Pitts on the current debate in the UK about the reburial of human skeletal remains assemblages.

Aghaboe Graveyard recording workshop

The first of the Historic Graves graveyard recording workshops in Co. Laois took place in Aghaboe Graveyard on Saturday the 26th May. John Tierney, Maurizio Toscano and myself Finn Delaney were joined by Tori McMorran. Tori has been working in graveyards in Co. Offaly and it was great to catch up as we have all worked together with Eachtra on some of the large road projects excavations over the last few years. Read more »

Funerary conundrums lecture series by Dr S Needham

This looks like a fascinating review of prehistoric burial practices and their meaning. Material and spiritual engagements; Britain and Ireland in the first age of metal 29 Apr 2011 - 01 May 2011 The Rhind Lectures presented by Dr Stuart Needham Friday 29 April 6pm to Sunday 1 May 2011 Edinburgh FRIDAY 29th April 2011 6pm Lecture 1: Funerary conundrums This funerary phenomenon spans a millennium, embracing the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, and embodies a complex pattern of change. The cumulative result was many remarkable aggregations of burials, yet these still only represent a minority of the population. The scene is set with an account of this phenomenon's constituent components and history of development, including the much-debated issue of origins. Earlier ideas that social ranking can be read from the labour invested and grave goods offered have given way to a greater focus on the role mourners had in constructing the individual burial rite. But what then is the meaning of standardised burial modes, or death personae, characterised by specific artefacts, body treatment and inter-burial relationships? First we must address the high degree of selectivity of these burials, then contemplate their capacity not only to convey powerful messages to the living but also to engage materially and spiritually with the Otherworld. Read more »

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