Carndonagh

Feature Sets (2)

Description

This site, which is one of the main ecclesiastical centres in Donegal, comprises a modern graveyard surrounding an 18thc. church of Ireland church. Within the precinct of the graveyard are a number of early Christian carved stones, a Romanesque lintel and fragments from a 15thc. building, some of which have been incorporated into the church.

History

The original function of the site is unclear. It is said to have been founded by St Patrick for Bishop McCairthen of Clogher. In the 17thc. John Colgan in Triadis Thaumaturgae described it as the 'Penitential bed of St Patrick surrounded by polished stones'.

Features

Loose Sculpture

Carved stone

To the S of the church entrance is a rectangular carved stone. The face of the stone is carved with a central ringed cross.  There are what appear to be five figures on the left and a panel of interlace to the right. A section of narrow roll frame remains at the right end of the stone, and under the feet of some of the figures on the left. The stone may have functioned originally as a lintel. A depression on the upper surface of the stone measures 0.21 m x 0.18 m.

Dimensions

depth 0.25 m
height 0.33 m
width 1.22 m

Comments/Opinions

There has been some dispute as to the date of this stone. On the basis of close similarities in the handling of the base of the Dysart O' Dea cross and the characteristically Romanesque framing, McNab has dated it to the 12thc.

Bibliography

  • J. Colgan Trias thaumaturga (1647). ed. E. Burke, Dublin, 1997.

  • P. Harbison, 'The Biblical Iconography of Irish Romanesque Architectural Sculpture'. In From the Isles of the North; Early Medieval Art in Ireland and Britain, ed. C. Bourke, 271–280, Belfast, 1995.

  • F. Henry, Irish Art in the Early Christian Period: to 800 A.D., London, 1965.

  • B. Lacey et al, Archaeological Survey of County Donegal, Lifford, 1983, 249–251.

  • S. McNab, 'Irish Figure Sculpture in the Twelfth Century'. PhD Thesis, Trinity College Dublin, 1987, 301–2.

Location

Site Location
Carndonagh
National Grid Reference
C 463 450 
Boundaries
now: Donegal
Dedication
now:
medieval:
Type of building/monument
Church of Ireland church and graveyard  
Report authors
Rachel Moss