Castleisland

Feature Sets (2)

Description

A carved stone has been reset in the S wall of the disused church, near the join between the roofless section at the W end and the roofed E section. The carved stone is evidently not part of the original masonry.

History

Not known.

Features

Loose Sculpture

Carved head

The stone is carved with a head with closely-set eyes and ears set high up and towards the front (like an animal's ears). On the R side of the head a snake-like monster appears to curl around the chin, biting behind the ear. On L a small animal (with legs) is biting the ear. Running in diagonal curves below the chin are a series of parallel grooves and ridges. The stone appears to be complete, and the head is raised in relief on a rectangular block, set in the wall.

Dimensions

d. of relief 0.14 m
h. 0.40 m
w. 0.22 m

Comments/Opinions

The motif of a human head with its ears bitten by creatures is not uncommon in Romanesque art. In an Irish context it is found on one of the western capitals at Dysert O'Dea (Clare), and on capitals at Killeshin (Laois). In this example it is difficult to say what the original location of the stone would have been. It does not appear to have functioned as a capital. It may have been a voussoir.

Bibliography

  • P. Harbison, 'Some Medieval Sculpture in Kerry', Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, 6, 1973, 9-25, pl. 2a & b.

Location

Site Location
Castleisland
National Grid Reference
Q 99 10 
Boundaries
now: Kerry
Dedication
now:
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Church (ruin)  
Report authors
Tessa Garton