An eighteenth century Arma Christi headstone in Clonfert, Duhallow, Co. Cork

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In the 'old section' of Clonfert graveyard (in the SW corner) is a large group of 18th and 19th century headstones and burial monuments. One of them has a rare survival of the 'crown of thorns' - the crown of thorns is commonly seen on headstones further north in Ireland but I can think of only two examples in Cork, Limerick, Tipperary.


The shouldered headstone has a sharp border on the top and then a fine collection of the instruments of the crucifixion. 

The team in Clonfert ( has surveyed over 1700 grave memorials with families from a number of parishes and at least two counties represented. In the last year Sile O'Sullivan tells me they have had over 20 visitors from Australia looking up their ancestors. I have a fondness for Clonfert for a number of reasons, not least the fact that we spent 2.5 hours here in 2007 searching for Bunworth headstones for my wife Martha's family tree. There were seven of us searching and only two of us enjoyed it but we stuck it out and had success - now visitors to the graveyard will find their family graves much easier thanks to the efforts of the local team.

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