A Mortality Memorial in Kill Graveyard, Co. Cavan

We recently spent a wonderful Saturday giving one of our survey workshops in Kill graveyard in the townland of Drumhurt just south west of Cootehill in Co. Cavan. A committed group of around twenty people showed up on a dull and slightly damp morning. The graveyard is oval in plan and is defined by an earthen bank to the west and north and a boundary wall which separates the graveyard from a curving road to the east and south. The graveyard splays out around a low mound which has a number of large yew trees towards its summit. Read more »

The Place of Their Resurrection

The inaugural Annual Galway Conference – The Place of Their Resurrection: cemeteries and funerary monuments their past and future – was held last Saturday, the 15th October, in the Harbour Hotel in Galway. The event was organised by Jim Higgins, the Galway City heritage officer and was funded  by Galway City Council and the Heritage Council. The conference was an action of the Galway City Heritage Plan. The Historic Graves project delivered a talk on community graveyard surveys and spent a great day discussing graveyards with a small but committed group of like minded graveyard enthusiasts.  Read more »

Low impact headstone rubbings

This technique involves using sheets of newsprint, an ordinary kitchen sponge and sheets of carbon paper. Our friend Gerry Mullens taught us this technique and he got it from Dr Elizabeth Shee Twohig, a specialist in prehistoric rock art. The beauty of the technique is that it has minimal impact on the headstone while ensuring a 1:1 copy is made, either of the complete face or of particular details. 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.

Photography for Graveyard Recording

Introduction

Making a good photographic record of the memorial stones in an historic graveyard is an important first step in any graveyard survey. The photographs provide a record of the memorial stones at the time the photograph is taken and in and of themselves form an important element of the baseline record. Photographs can also play an important part in recording the memorial stone inscriptions which is the ultimate conservation tool available to any community group. In the Historic Graves methodology geo-located photographs are a crucial element in the systematic approach to graveyard survey.
 
As archaeologists, photography forms an important part of our day-to-day work.

The Dominican Priory in Athenry

 Introduction

Eachtra have been monitoring excavations in Tuam associated with a new water supply scheme. Last week the ‘big dig’ as the works have become known moved to Athenry and next week Eachtra will be pre-excavating a trench along Abbey Row which runs just to the west of the Dominican Priory. I took the opportunity while planning next week’s excavations to have a look around the graveyard surrounding the priory building to the north and east. Read more »

The Old Graveyrad in Tuam - Temple Jarlath

Introduction

Eachtra have been monitoring works associated with the Tuam water supply scheme for the past year. The ‘big dig’ as it is known locally has seen all of the streets in the town excavated in order to replace the water and waste water pipeline services and to add additional Broadband, Gas and ESB ducting. As Tuam is such an historic town we have been monitoring the excavations in an attempt to identify and record features associated with its long history. The monitoring brief has meant I have walked past and around Temple Jarlath hundreds of times. Read more »

East Cork Historic Graveyard Surveys in 2011

On a recent field survey in the midlands one of the trainees remarked 'There are more people in graveyards now than are attending mass!'. A slight exaggeration maybe but it does reflect the growing engagement in Ireland with the care and conservation of historic graveyards. One group in Cork city are surveying St. Finbarr's Victorian cemetery and publishing their work to Google Maps (http://g.co/maps/ygzjk) and we are working with a neighbouring group on St. Josephs cemetery (http://historicgraves.ie/graveyard/st-joseph-s-cemetery/co-stjh) on Tory Top Road. Read more »

John Murphy and the Burgery Ambush in Dungarvan

Eddie Cantwell has been busy surveying historic graveyards in West Waterford and publishing stories associated with the graveyards and graves. One of the most famous events in the War of Independence was the Burgery Ambush (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgery_ambush and http://www.waterfordcountymuseum.org/exhibit/web/Display/article/22/6/). This ambush in 1921epitomises the violence of the time when communities were riven and there was blood on the streets of Ireland.

John Murphy was a key munitions expert for the West Waterford IRA in 1921 and it was his capture which prompted the ambush outside Dungarvan. In this (http://historicgraves.ie/story/john-murphy-1876-1977) Historic Graves story Eddie fills us in on the role of John Murphy in West Waterford affairs and also shows us where the man found peace at the age of 91, in Garranbaun graveyard (http://historicgraves.ie/graveyard/garranbaun/wa-grbn).

Matehy Graveyard in County Cork - spelling and lore (how did headstones end up in a riverbed)

When I look out the side window of my house, I gaze upon the newly erected signposts at the crossroads pointing to Cork, Berrings, Kanturk, and the more exotically sounding Mathey. I gaze upon this final signpost in disbelief because with all the European money and intellectual savvy, the signpost-makers have unforgiveably misspell and hence mis-represented one of the defining characteristics of my hinterland. ‘To be named is to exist’ and amongst the people who live in and aound this small rural hamlet the extraordinary legend of how it got its distinctive name is paramount. Read more »

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