Kilmacduagh, Co. Galway

On an unseasonably mild Saturday morning I took a spin down to the early Christian monastic site of Kilmacduagh located just west of Gort in south Co. Galway. It has one of the finest collections of churches in Ireland along with a remarkably well preserved round tower. The site is associated with St Colman who was the son of Duagh and the name Kilmacduagh can be translated as ‘the church of the son of Duagh’. In the lowlands of south Galway it was the principal ecclesiastical foundation under the patronage of the kings of Ui Fiachrach Aidhne in early medieval times. In later medieval times it became the seat of a diocese of the same name, which was co-extensive with the baronies of Kiltartan and Dunkellin. Read more »

The Wonders of Fore Co. Westmeath

A quite valley in the rolling hills of Westmeath north of Mullingar contains the small village of Fore. As you leave Castlepollard and turn right off the main road and up the small valley a view of the ruins of a Benedectine Priory rising from the flat valley floor is the first thing to strike you and as you enter the valley the rich archaeological and historical heritage contained within jumps out from every slope and flat field.  Read more »

An Historic Graveyards Roadshow 2012

A number of local authorities in Dublin, Kilkenny and Cork have combined to organise an Historic Graveyards Roadshow which will commence in March 2012. Supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, the Local Authorities and Historic Graves, this roadshow will combine training in heritage conservation, archaeology, local history and genealogy for community groups and schools in a number of communities.

Communities will learn new techniques for surveying historic graveyards and for publishing their own heritage to a broad audience on the internet, combining headstone photographs with audio and video stories of people and place. Local heritage groups, national schools and secondary schools will be involved in the project.

The dates and venues for the roadshow have been confirmed as follows; Read more »

Update on the Tuam Famine Burials

The excavation of the probable famine era burials associated with the Tuam workhouse on the Atherny Road in Toberjarlath on the south eastern outskirts of Tuam is still progessing. Close to 45 burials have now been recorded and excavated in our small excavtion area. The area needs to be extended slightly in order to access the area presently under the footpath to the north east. We are hoping that the excavations will be completed next week. Read more »

Surnames of Barony, Kilkenny

Preparations are afoot for an evening session (scheduled for Fri evening 24th February) to wrap up last years work at Barony graveyard in north Kilkenny. This will be the first of these formal wrap ups we have been involved in and we hope that, with the community group, we will come up a stimulating event, which matches the unique character of the place.

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Clonpriest Graveyard

I attended a funeral in Clonpriest two years ago and have wanted to revisit ever since. There are at least three headstones which measure over 2 m tall as well as a fine collection of 19th century limestone memorials. The old graveyard with its ruined church gable and walled burial plot has been extended to the north and the surnames found include Gleesons, Motherways, a Boll and a Connon (the latter two were new to me). While rummaging around the graveyard for ten minutes this morning I recorded the sounds of the entrance gate and left the Zoom H2 recorder running for a while wondering how much of the surrounding sounds would be captured. Read more »

Ignite Dublin #8 - The Historic Graves Project

The team at Ignite Dublin have begun to upload the videos of the talks from their eighth ignite adventure in December. It was a great night and I was delighted to have been involved and been given the opportunity to extol the virtues of the Historic Graves Project. The brilliantly edited videos of the talks have begun to appear on the science gallery's YouTube channel and I look forward to refreshing my memories of an entertaining and stimulating night. Below is the video of the talk on the Historic Graves Project.

 

 

 

Probable Workhouse Famine Burials in Tuam

Eachtra are currently in the process of excavating a number of human remains in Toberjarlath townland on the eastern edges of Tuam, in Co. Galway. Remains were first discovered in a trench excavated by Coffey Group in order to insert a new watermain as part of the ongoing works associated with the Tuam Town Water Supply Scheme. The trench was located in the middle of the road at the junction between the Athenry Road and the Dublin Road Housing Estate.  Read more »

Historic Graves - The Project 2012

There are over 3600 historic graveyards in Ireland with 1400 years of history carved into stone. In the past year we have helped survey 6734 graves in 79 graveyards and collaborated with 20 community groups, 7 local authorities and 6 Leader companies. 

We are a grassroots project. We leverage technology for community and economic development through hyperlocal heritage engagement. We capture local stories of place in local voices and we embed them in place.

We have built digital toolsets for community development and this booklet outlines our approach for 2012. We seek partners for collaboration and funding. 

A pdf version of this document can be downloaded here (HistoricGraves 2012) and if you wish to get in touch please contact John (john@historicgraves.ie). Read more »

Brambles, nests and gravestones in Prospecthall

The Piltown/Kinsalebeg Community Alert Group called a graveyard meitheal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meitheal) last weekend and a group of gloved volunteers armed with clippers and hedge cutters assembled to improve the accessibility of the historic graveyard. Following the guidance of the Care and Conservation booklet (http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Archaeology/Guidance_Historic_Graveyards.pdf) Terry O'Callaghan, Chairman, consulted with the county heritage officer and also got in touch with us in Historic Graves.

In little over three hours an area measuring 400 sq m was shorn of brambles and grass clumps while a railed memorial at the eastern end of the ruined church was cleared of some invasive elder plants. Read more »

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