Touring some historic graveyards in south Dublin

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If you are ever in Dundrum village turn your back on the temple to consumption and stroll up to St. Nahi's graveyard. There you will find that the community and the rector have developed a digital guided tour (podcast and word version) of the graveyard with 18 points of interest identified within this very large graveyard. A Youtube video of the graveyard gives a detailed and welcoming outline of the history of the church and graveyard. Viking burial markers, tapestrys and stained glass by a variety of craftspeople can all be viewed inside the church. This historic site is at the forefront of reaching out to it's community.

After the peace and quiet of St. Nahi's a fifteen minute drive up into the Wicklow hills brings us to Glencullen. Here we visited the memorial dedicated to the stoneworkers of this community and the sun shone on the bright granite memorial for our visit. Retracing our steps we meant to visit Kilgobbin graveyard in Stepaside but we went astray and continued westwards to the borderlands of the Pale. There, at the former royal manor of Newcastle we opened the iron gate and visited St. Finians graveyard. Built around 1400 AD the church has a residential defensive tower and an interesting collection of memorials. There pillar stone may be prehistoric in origin while the Granite Cross with cross-in-circle is Early Medieval.

Our next port-of-call lay 4.5  km to the east, across from the entrance gates to Casement Aerodrome. Here the medieval graveyard of Kilbride sits in the middle of a field, surrounded by a low stone wall, probably built in the first half of the 19th century. A stile leads one to step lively into the graveyard which is now overgrown with grasses, nettles and thistles. A stand of blackthorn on the northern boundary were heavy with dark sloes. Teeming with insects and larger wildlife the graveyard is an oasis of biodiversity and the most immediately striking grave memorials were two early 20th century grave markers. The first, a rare, moderately well preserved, wooden cross with shamrock terminals dedicated to David Kennedy and Joseph Power. The second marker which struck a chord was a well made concrete cross, plain western side but decorated with seashells on the eastern face. I wonder if the James Power commemorated here was related to Joseph Power?


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