Greyabbey, Co. Down | The Graveyard
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In a recent post I enthused on the subject of the beautiful Medieval remains of the Cistercian monastery at Greyabbey. As that post already contained some 30 photographs, I thought it wisest to exclude the more recent graveyard, to the east of the main church, and save it for a separate post. I’ve visited this graveyard on several occasions, and have never failed to be taken aback by the beauty and quality of these stones. It has to be among the finest collections of 18th and 19th century gravestones in Northern Ireland.
|In the graveyard, looking towards the east gable of the|
| 'This Ston and Bering pleas Belongs to John Lyons of Dunover'.|
Stone for his wife, d. 1829
Decorated with eight-petalled flowers on either side of a rather odd-looking and stern face.
|'Erected by Robert Lyons of Dunover' Stone for his son, d. 1826|
|'Here lieth the Body of James Askin son to David Askin of Ballybolly' d. 1801|
|'Erected by William Wilson of Ballyboley' for daughter (d. 1845),|
unnamed child 'who died young', and wife (d. 1853)
|'Erected by Thomas Bennet of Ballyboley in memory of his Mother Mary'|
|A peaceful place|
|Detail of ornamental iron work|
|'Here Lieth the Body of Hugh Bow (?)' d. 1812|
|'Erected by David Hamilton of Ballyboley on the 24th day of June 1881'|
Again, there is a fluted fan motif with a classical urn at the centre. The interesting things here are the two lines of diagonal text that read: This stone marks 3 graves here'.
|'Here lieth the body of Sarah Reid wife to David Reid of Ballydoonen' d. 1802|
Decorated with an eight-petalled flower and geometric motifs.
|'Erected by Alex Murphy' 19th century|
|Detail of possible combined plumb line and level symbol|
|'Erected by William Johnston of Cardy in memory of his father' d. 1855|
|'Here lieth ye Body of Jean Cath Cart' d. 1758|
|'Erected in memory of Mary Gunning late of Grey Abbey' d. 1822|
|Eternally in the shadow of the abbey|
|'Erected by William Wright of Ballynester in memory of his wife |
Mary Wright alias Reid' d. 1835
|Panoramic overview across the graveyard|
|Chapple Family and associated in-law |
explore the graveyard
|'Erected by Sarah Cumming of D.Dee [Donaghadee] Grangee.|
In memory of her husband, David Cumming' d. 1840
|'Mingled with their native dust rest underneath the remains |
of Thomas Shaw of Glestry' d. 1794
|'Here lieth the Body of David Stuart of Sloanstown' d.1798|
|'Erected by Arthur Nevill of Dunover, in memory of his Son Robert' d.1833|
|'Erected by James Walker of Ballybrain in, memory|
of his son Joseph' d.1853
|'Erected by James M'Clelland of Springvale. in memory|
of his father Samuel M'Clelland' d.1844?
|'Erected by John Purse of Greyabbey. In memory |
of his Son James' d. 1834
|Panoramic overview of the graveyard|
|Selection of stones with the ubiquitous and elegant fluted fan motif|
|White (?) family slab d. 1764|
|White (?) family slab d. 1764|
|This stone is very similar to the 'John Purse of Greyabbey' stone (above)|
|'Erected by William Carson of Ballyneister in|
memory of his Son William Carson' d. 1837
|Various gravestones in need of love, attention, and restoration|
|Time to go! Chapple Minor sets off in search of new adventures!|
I hope you have enjoyed the images. If you live overseas, I hope that they offer some degree of inspiration to consider coming to Northern Ireland and see these great sites for yourself. If you’re already lucky enough to live here, but haven’t visited Greyabbey, what are you waiting for? Go!
I’d like to thank Chris McClintock for his assistance in deciphering some of the symbolism in the stones above. Take a moment and check out his incredible stained glass work (both new creations and restoration projects). He is also the author of The Craft and the Cross: The True Story of the Sun of God.