Showing posts from 2023

Archaeology 360: Kilmacduagh Monastery. Part II: The Glebe House & Temple Mary

Following my visiting O'Heyne's Church [ here ] I moved on to some of the other sites of Kilmacduagh. First stop was to the Glebe House and then to the ruin of Temple Mary. The Glebe House is believed to have been the Bishop's residence and was restored some years ago. With the key, borrowed from a nearby resident, the visitor can venture inside and explore building. Although the rooms are bare, it is worth making the effort to see the remarkable oak carpentry work that went into recreating the floors and the roof. Across the road and over the wall is the simple, but quite beautiful church known as Temple Mary. It dates to the 13th century, but incorporates stones from an earlier church on the site [ Irish Stones ] I’ve compiled the tour into a consecutive YouTube playlist [ here ] , or you can access each video clip individually: Part I: Outside the Glebe House, to the NE  [0:45] Part II:  Glebe House, Ground Floor   [0:43] Part III: Glebe House, Top Floor  [0:26] Part IV:

Archaeology 360: Kilmacduagh Monastery. Part I: O'Heyne's Church

The monastery of Kilmacduagh, Co. Galway, is believed to have been founded in the 7th century by St Colman. None of the surviving buildings date to that early period, but many fine examples of medieval architecture survive here. I've broken this tour down into several segments, the first one being a visit to the 13th century remains of the O'Heyne's Church [ Irish Stones ]. I’ve compiled the tour into a consecutive YouTube playlist [ here ] , or you can access each video clip individually here: Part I: Outside, to the NE [0:23] Part II:  Outside the East Window   [1:35] Part III: External, to the S [1:03] Part IV: Internal, by the Chancel Arch [0:24] 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  chan

Archaeology 360: St. Patrick's High Cross, Carndonagh, Co Donegal

First there were cross slabs (slabs of stone with crosses carved on them, like at Fahan Mura ) and eventually there were the great High Crosses (like at Kells, Co. Meath). But … somewhere between the two lies St Patrick’s Cross at Carndonagh, Co. Donegal. Although art historians still argue over the dating of the sequence, it is generally thought that the cross at Carndonagh dates to the middle of the 7 th century. The eastern face is decorated with ribbon interlace. The upper portion of the western face is filled with a Greek cross, in similar ribbon interlace while the lower stem bears a depiction of Christ in low relief. Flanking the cross are two pillar stones decorated with human figures. The pillar to the south of the cross had a carving of a figure with a bell that might be a bishop or pilgrim. Another face of the same stone bears an unusual figure, apparently bearing a fine set of horns. The northern pillar has depictions of a warrior (with shield) and King David (with harp).

Archaeology 360: Temple of Deen Court Tomb, Co Donegal

Court tombs are typically composed of a stone-built burial chamber, paired with an open courtyard (hence the name). Built during the 4 th millennium BC, around 390 examples survive in Ireland [ Wiki ]. The example at Larahirrel, outside the village of Bocan, is pretty well preserved with an identifiable court and chamber stones surviving in situ , even if most of the cairn material is long gone. The surviving upright stones are spectacular and the windswept hilltop it sits on gives impressive views across the countryside in all directions. I didn’t visit during the nicest weather, but you can still get a sense of the great views across the landscape as well as the beauty of the site itself. I’ve compiled the tour into a consecutive YouTube playlist [ here ], or you can access each video clip individually here: Part I: Outside, to the SW [1:16] Part II: Outside, to the NW, by the court [1:23] Part III: Inside the court [1:23] Part IV: Outside, to the N [1:03] Part V: In

Archaeology 360: Fahan Mura, Co Donegal

At first glimpse, there’s little remarkable about Fahan Mura graveyard. Sure, there was a monastery here from the 6 th century, but nothing identifiable survives above ground and the standing ruins date to the 16 th and 17 th centuries. Throw a stone in rural Ireland and it has a decent chance of landing in a similar churchyard. What sets this site apart, however, is the absolutely magnificent 7 th century cross-slab of St Mura (though some argue that it slightly later in the sequence of ancient cross carving). There is an interlaced long-stemmed, Latin, cross on both sides, though on the west face there are (difficult to see) representation of two human figures. It’s debatable who they might represent, but the local tradition that one of them is old Mura himself has much to recommend it. Quite apart from its artistic merit, the Fahan cross-slab is of importance as it is one of only two ancient examples of continuous Greek script surviving from early Ireland. In this instance the s