Saturday, September 11, 2021

Archaeology 360: Killadeas, Co Fermanagh


Killadeas is a little town in Co. Fermanagh, on the eastern shore of Lough Erne. In the little graveyard of the modern Church of Ireland church. Our little 360-degree tour starts near the large upright Early Christian Cross inscribed stone (with possible bullaun mortar holes on its the back), moves on the pillar/standing stone, past the cross-base (that looks like a large stone donut set on edge in the ground*), and onto the ‘Bishop’s Stone’. The latter has a depiction of a bishop – identified by his bell and crozier – on one broad side and a ’grotesque’ mask on a narrow side. The stone is dated to the Early Christian/Early Medieval period, around the 9th to 10th centuries. When the light is just right and the shadows fall in a particular way, the bishop appears to have a slight wistful smile and almost a twinkle in his ancient eye. I’ve visited this site on many occasions over the years and am always taken by his exquisite, pointy topped shoes.

Taken together, these remnants indicate that the modern church sits on the site of what must once have been a substantial and important monastic site. I was going to say that this contrasts with the sleepy appearance of the village today, but the number of articulated lorries going through in the background of this video would give the lie to that opinion. Unfortunately, the lighting on the morning we visited (October 2020) and the available resolution of the camera I used means that much of the fine carved detail could not be captured. However, you can still get a feeling for standing in this beautiful place, hear the birds chirrup and the wind stir the trees with the irregular heartbeat of passing trucks punctuating the experience. On the other hand, the still images I’ve used in this post are from my very first visit here – in 2000 – with the Historic Monuments Council.

There are other excellent images and more detail over at the site [here]

* Ring, not jam filled.

You can view this 360-degree video on an ordinary browser or on the dedicated YouTube app for your smartphone. However, for best results we recommend the more immersive experience that comes with an Oculus/Google Cardboard headset. Please feel free to Like and Share the video and Subscribe to the Archaeology 360 channel. If you’re feeling peculiarly generous and wish to help purchase snacks to sustain the Chapples Minor in the field, please drop something in the Tip Jar on the top right of this page.

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