Visiting the Quaker cemetery in Rosenallis, Co. Laois

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There are two fascinating burial grounds in Rosenallis, Co. Laois, the Quaker cemetery and St. Brigids churchyard just up the road from that. This video is a brief tour of the Quaker cemetery of Rosenallis. Laois has a fascinating history of religious cooperation and competition and the graveyards have proven to be key sources of the physical remains of this complex past - there are Catholic families, indigenous and planted in Tudor times, Quaker families following the times of Cromwell and a range of Church of Ireland and non-conformist protestant churches and all are traceable in the burial grounds of the last 500 years. Nearby Mountmellick will be the focus of a large gathering of Quaker heritage families in 2015 and no doubt Rosenallis will receive a lot of visitors keen to remember their forebearers. Working on this survey with the local community group I was intrigued that we were in such a Quaker heartland with links to the Carribean and North America going back to the 1700s.

A fascinating thing about the Quaker headstones is that they avoid the use of the pagan names of days and months - they will say departed on the 2nd day of the 2nd month rather than Wednesday the 2nd February ...Also many of the gravestones seem to indicate singular use of each graveplot although at a recent workshop in Waterford I was told that recent Quaker burials will often have a husband and wife sharing a single plot.

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