Chapple, R. M. 2012 'Workingman’s dead: notes on some 17th to 19th century memorials, from Killora and Killogilleen, Craughwell, Co. Galway, Ireland. Part II' blogspot post
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Chapple, R. M. 2012 'Workingman’s dead: notes on some 17th to 19th century memorials, from Killora and Killogilleen, Craughwell, Co. Galway, Ireland. Part II' blogspot post

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    Chapple, R. M. 2012 'Workingman’s dead: notes on some 17th to 19th century memorials, from Killora and Killogilleen, Craughwell, Co. Galway, Ireland. Part II' blogspot post Chapple, R. M. 2012 'Workingman’s dead: notes on some 17th to 19th century memorials, from Killora and Killogilleen, Craughwell, Co. Galway, Ireland. Part II' blogspot post Document Transcript

    • Workingman’s Dead: Notes on some 17th to 19th century memorials, fromthe graveyards of Killora and Killogilleen, Craughwell, Co. Galway, Ireland. Part IIOriginally posted online on 17 April 2012 at rmchapple.blogspot.com(http://rmchapple.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/workingmans-dead-notes-on-some-17th-to.html)PrefaceIn Part I of this post, I outlined the background to the original project run inconjunction with Craughwell Community Council and FÁS to ‘clean-up’ and documentthe graveyards of Killora and Killogilleen. I also described a relatively coherent group ofsix vocational gravestones, belonging to blacksmiths, farmers, a shepherd and acarpenter. In this post I want to look at a number of other stones from the twograveyards. To be honest, there is little that binds them together other than the fact thatI think that they are interesting and deserve to be better known.Fig. 17. Overview of Cloonan stone.A resurrection sceneIn Killora graveyard there is a large (1.40m high x 1.85m wide), upstanding headstonewith elaborate stepped and concave shoulders and a rounded head. The clear, incisedtext reads:
    • Erected by Cathne Cloonan alias Joyce and her son Jeremia / as a tribute of respect tothe memory of her husband, John / Cloonan who lived respected & died regretted, the17t,h, of / Nov. 1836 Age 60 years AND maternal affection / for her son Patrick Cloonanwho departd, this life, / the 25t,h, of Mar. 1838 Age 21 Yrs MAY they & their / Po∫terityre∫t in Peace Amen {A.:D 1839} M.L. O KELLY FecitFig. 18. Detail of central roundel on Cloonan stone.The upper portion of the stone is decorated with large roundel bordered with a mouldedrope design along its inner edge (Fig. 17). The external edge has a wide border ofstylised, false relief foliage. The upper half of the roundel bears two winged cherubheads in high false relief set at angles to each other (Fig. 18). Below these is a false relief‘IHS’ monogram with a cross with arms patonce, a head pommel, fitched, springingfrom the lozenge shaped cross-bar of the ‘H’. The tops of the letters ‘I’ and ‘H’ are in asimilar design to the terminals at the arms of the cross. To the left of this is the falserelief hand, dexter (of St. Peter) holding a key.
    • Fig. 19. Detail of memento mori and St. Michael on Cloonan stone.The upper left hand portion of the stone bears a skull and crossbones, or ‘mementomori’, followed by a winged and naked Archangel Michael, in profile, in the process ofwalking, and blowing a trumpet on “the day of judgement”, standing on a torse (Fig. 19).The upper right hand portion of the stone bears a set of scales of judgement(Psychostasis), tipping to the right, along with a false relief rosette (Fig. 20). I wouldargue that this series of symbols may be interpreted as a linear narrative moving fromdeath to the ‘last day’, moving to the judgement, and finally to salvation, heresymbolised by rosette. One further possibility is that the central roundel representsheaven, with Jesus (represented by the HIS monogram), the angels, and St. Peter.Fig. 20. Detail of scales and rosette on Cloonan stone.The temple of Solomon
    • In Killogilleen graveyard there is an interesting stone that, I think, represents theTemple of Solomon. It is hard to see as it has slumped forward quite a bit and isprobably all but invisible to all but the most dedicated (or lucky) searchers. The stonehas squared shoulders with a ‘tri-lobate’ head. The stone measures 0.81m wide x 1.21mhigh and is incised with weathered, legible text:O Lord have mercy on the / soul of Mary Gaughigan / died May 1835 aged 17 yrs /Erected by her father / Michl Gaughin & his Posterity / 1840The main decorated area of the stone bears a representation of a ‘temple’ like structure,carved in low false relief (Fig. 21). It is formed of two vertical pillars, each with a single-stepped and moulded base and a single stepped and double-moulded head. On this restsa large lintel, the left and right edges of which are stepped diagonally upwards from theheads of the pillars. The body of the lintel is decorated with a hatched pattern, formed ofcrossing diagonal lines. Both the upper and lower edges bear what appears to be incised,horizontal foliage patterns, but are too lichen covered to be definite. Above the lintel a“JHS” monogram sits in a semicircle sunburst composed of contiguous semi-circles. The“JHS” has a cross patteé, fitched springing from the cross-bar of the ‘H’. Two smallerpillars support more diminutive lintels on either side. Like the main lintel, these too aredecorated with very lightly incised foliage motifs. The areas below the smaller lintelseach bear a small, false relief Latin cross calvary on two grieces. Layout lines are visibleabove and below the lower bands on both the left- and right-hand sides.
    • Fig. 21. Overview of Gaughigan stone. Illustration by Damien Kavanagh.A false relief ‘Dexter Dei’ protrudes from the centre of the bottom edge of the large‘lintel’ and overlies he upper portion of a large heart. The heart, carved in false relief, isborne in the central area, below the large lintel and between the main pillars. It has araised rim along all edges and an atrium, in the same style, is carved vertically from thenadir to just below the outstretched fingers of the ‘Dexter Dei’, thus dividing the heartfeature in two. The left-hand side bears the low false relief Roman numerals: I, II, III,IIII and V, from top to bottom. The right-hand side bears the, similarly executed,numerals: VI, VII, VIII, VIIII and X, also from top to bottom. It seems most likely thatthese numerals represent the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28 “And he was therewith the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water.And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”).The ‘temple’-like structure may represent that of Solomon (1 Kings 5:5 “And, behold, Ipurpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake untoDavid my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shallbuild an house unto my name.”). While I don’t want to delve too deeply into thetheological implications of this scene, I would see the central message as the TenCommandments (Old Testament) being at the heart of the Christian experience.
    • However, the presence of the various crosses may be taken to state the primacy of Christand the New Testament. In particular, the “JHS” monogram in the sun-burst, resting ontop of the temple structure is a direct statement of this belief of the New Testamentbeing literally and metaphorically, above the Old Testament.Fig. 22. Overview of anonymous stone 16[5?]4. Illustration by Damien Kavanagh.Two ‘Gaelic Revival’ slabsThe last two stones I want to look at are both from the 17th century and are,respectively, the oldest dated examples in each of their graveyards. In Killogilleen, the
    • better preserved of the two, is a worn and weathered, recumbent limestone slab (0.54mwide x 1.79m long) (Fig. 22). There is no formal inscription, but the entire upper portionof the stone is carved with a double-banded, low relief latticework based on theintersection of lozenge, saltire cross, and Greek cross shapes with a central circle. Thefour sides of the panel where these features intersect are marked by semi-circles, whilethe corners are marked by quadrant-circles. Extending from the base of this decoratedcross head is a low relief shaft, terminating on a base of three grieces. Approximately,half-way down the length of the shaft, on either side, is a small, rectangular panel carvedin relief. Each is uninscribed and undecorated, though may originally have beenpainted. Above these, at approximately one-quarter length down the shaft, are two lowrelief “IHS” monograms, one placed on either side of the shaft. Each bears a crosspatteé, fitched, springing from the cross-bar of the ‘H’. Below this again, to the left of thecross shaft, are what appear to be the much worn, relief numerals ‘1’ and ‘6’. To the rightof the shaft is a very indistinct carving of what appears to be a relief number ‘5’, thoughit could be a ‘1’, followed by a much more distinct number ‘4’, also carved in relief.At Killora, lying loose inside the church, is the broken upper portion of a similar stone.The surviving part measures 0.91m long x 0.58m wide and is carved with a relativelyloose, false relief latticework based on the intersection of lozenge, saltire cross, andGreek cross shapes (Fig. 23). The four sides of the panel where these features intersectare marked by semi-circles, with a central circle. Each of the corners also bears aquadrant circle. Beneath this, on the right a small low, false-relief rectangular panelbears an ‘IHS’ monogram with a small cross with expanded terminals springing fromthe cross-bar of the ‘H’. Beneath this, the year 1619 is plainly visible. The date isrepeated, in less easy to read low false-relief, below the left-hand portion of thedecorated panel. Some aspects of the carving give the impression that the stone was leftunfinished. These include a number of the triangular sections between the intersectionsof the circular portions and the straight bands are left uncarved, the outlines of somebeing only lightly incised. Similarly, the ‘6’ in the left-hand version of the date ‘1619’ isalso unfinished. However, it is likely that this was originally painted, thus the outlines ofthe design were all that was necessary. The closest parallels to this stone are to be foundat St. Nicholas Collegiate church, and at Kilcorban (Pers. Comm. Mr. J. Higgins).
    • Fig. 23. Overview of anonymous stone 1619.ConclusionsI think that my criteria for selecting these stones – that I like them and feel that theydeserve to be better known – are perfectly valid. As the reader it is also acceptable toask why I think that they are special and deserve to be written (and read) about. Thesimple answer is that, in the grand scheme of things, they are not particularly special at
    • all. If you take the time to walk through any old Irish graveyard you will find somethingof interest. Some of the stones you will encounter will be ‘better’ than these – the qualityof the carving will be more impressive, or they will be of a ‘rarer’ type. Nonetheless, I feelthat the ubiquity of these stones can be seen as providing tangible links to the widerissues and movements within national historical narratives. Much of the thrust of ‘localhistory’ has, to my mind, been focused on separating the local community from broaderhistorical themes. While I have not attempted to make these connections explicit withinthe text, there are a number that may be validly exploited by other researchers. Forexample, the use of interlace on the early/mid 17th century ‘Gaelic Revival’ slabs is aphysical link to a resurgent Catholic population, drawing on historical themes anddecorative devices to create a narrative of Irish nationalism in the period before theCromwellian wars. Both the Cloonan ‘Resurrection’ narrative and the ‘Temple ofSolomon’ on the Gaughigan stone can be read in terms of interactions between popularornamental styles and canonical theologies. As such, they go beyond the borders of thisisland and form part of a much larger conversation on the dynamism of pan-Europeanecclesiastical reform and conservatism. Elements of this story include the cultural andpolitical ties and tensions between Catholicism and the established church. Obviously,the vocational stones discussed in Part I are of an interest beyond their carvings. Theycan provide mute testimony not only to the diversity of economic activities carried out inthe area, but to the fact that such activities were sufficiently lucrative to allow suchexpensive stones to be commissioned. As I have demonstrated, some of this coarsedetail provided by the archaeological evidence is backed up with historical records, butmore frequently it is not. In these instances archaeology stands alone in being able tocommunicate the past to us and our place in the present. And yet, for all ways in whichone can abstract them, I still return to this collection first and foremost as one whoenjoys the beauty and simplicity of their carvings. I maintain that these are a group offascinating gravestones that should be better known to both the people of Craughwelland to the wider world. I also believe that anyone with the time and energy can go totheir local graveyard and find interesting memorials that not just link them to their ownplace, but are part of much wider trends and narratives in national and internationalhistory.Acknowledgements:I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the following who havegiven generously of their time and knowledge: Mr. P.J. Callanan, Secretary, CraughwellParish Council; The librarians and staff of The James Hardiman Library, NUIG; GalwayCounty Library; and Island House, Galway County Library Headquarters; Professor E.Rynne; and Mr. Jim Higgins. No amount of thanks can repay my wife, Jeanne, for thehours she has spent standing in cold, windswept graveyards; for time spent advising andproofreading and especially for her understanding when it may appear that my devotionto her is momentarily eclipsed by gravestones.