St Mogue, Fethard-on-Sea

Feature Sets (2)

Description

The font is the only Romanesque feature in this nave and chancel church.

History

References to the church date from c.1200 but the church may predate the arrival of the Anglo-Normans as Ferns had claims apparently predating the earliest grants (Moore, Arch Survey, 157). The original location of the font is not known. Local tradition attributes it either to the Cistercian monastery at Tintern or Dunbrody (Pike, 1989, 14).

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

Supported by a square base with chamfered edge, the font bowl takes the form of a triple scallop capital. The bowl is decorated on one face with a shield of three scallops containing a foliage design framed by a row of geometric ornament comprising alternating triangles forming zigzags. The shield area contains a spray of foliage with an upright serrated leaf and two flowers in the centre, flanked by longer curling strands and S-shaped beaded stems which extend into the outer scallops and terminate in single leaves. The other three faces are plain. The stem of the font is round and slightly conical. Of sandstone (?).

Dimensions
d. of bowl 069 m
h. of bowl 0.64 m
h. of bowl 0.23 m
w. of bowl 0.70 m

Comments/Opinions

Although the font is said to have come from Dunbrody or Tintern, there appears to be no evidence for this. It also seems unlikely, as fonts were not generally required in Cistercian churches. Stalley (1987, 276) suggests a date of c.1200 for the font, and considers the Dunbrody provenance unlikely, unless it was made for the capella ante portas. The font is very similar to that at Carrick-on-Bannow, and is evidently a product of the same workshop.

Bibliography

  • P. Hore, The History of the Town and County of Wexford, Dublin, 1904, IV, 308-11.
  • M. Moore, Archaeological Inventory of Co. Wexford, Dublin, 1996, 157.
  • J. Pike, Medieval Fonts of Ireland, Greystones, 1989, 14.
  • R. Stalley, The Cistercian Monasteries of Ireland, London & New Haven, 1987, 276, n.17.

Location

Site Location
Fethard-on-Sea
National Grid Reference
S 78 06 
Boundaries
now: Wexford
Dedication
now: St Mogue
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Church of Ireland church  
Report authors
Tessa Garton