Mr Matt Donellan tells us the story of one of their family headstones and how the Donellan's came to Cavan, from Galway, for the building of Bailieborough church.

It is rare to meet a living organism this old. This yew tree is part of a larger stand of trees which appear to be over 1000 years old and could even be twice that age. The ancient yews were not cut out when the Clee Hills were heavily worked during the industrial revolution and this is probably associated with their great age but also their association with the holy well of Hope Bagot.

Headstone rubbings are an important part of a gravestone recording project as they allow us to make 1:1 copies of some stones. There are a number of do's and don't's involved and here Oliver outlines the main one - do not rub fragile stones. The rule of thumb we follow is to leave the headstones better than we found them.

The main guidance for doing rubbings are;

1. to pick a dry, low-wind day.

2. Never do a rubbing of a fragile stone - some of the stones in Hope Bagot were so fragile that they looked like a sneeze would cause damage.

You will find Hope Bagot graveyard in a wooded glen at the southern foot of the Clee Hills, immediately south of Cleehill village. Students from Lacon Childe secondary school recorded the historic headstones in this graveyard in 2015 and at the end of their project scripted, recorded and edited this video in the field using an ipod touch. For many of the students it was their first engagement with churchyards and the history they contain.

St. John the Baptist Church is located on the opposite side of Bawnatemple townland to Canovee Graveyard, on the boundary with Coolnasoon and Cooldrum townlands. The church was built in 1869 on the site of an older church marked on the 1st ed. OS as 'R.C. Chapel' (1840s) and across the road from the old National School House and the site named as 'Kilcoulaghta graveyard' on the 1st Edition OS (1840s). Canon John Foley was Parish Priest of Kilmurry Parish at the time.

While the graveyard at Bawnatemple is the main burial place in the old parish of Cannaway, there are some other burial grounds in the area.

Scott Kerr is a local historian and member of the Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis. In this story he tells us something of the varied career of William McGavin a notorious anti-Catholic preacher from the early 1800s.


"I am going to talk about William McGavin.

Was born near Darnlaw, Aughinleck in Ayrshire.

He had very little formal education; he was, more or less, entirely self taught.