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Limerick City Museum

Limerick City Museum
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Limerick
now Limerick City
  • Tessa Garton

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Feature Sets

Two carved heads from different sites are now housed in Limerick City Museum.

One carved head was found incorporated into the stonework of the old Protestant church at Feakle (Clare), built in 1824. It was found during the demolition of the church in c.1954.

The second carved head was found on the site of St Peter's Cell, Limerick.


At Feakle, the church was founded in the 7thc. by St Mochonna according to local tradition. The remains of a pre-Reformation church were destroyed in 1780. a Protestant church was built on the same site in 1824, and demolished c.1954. No evidence survives of a Romanesque church at Feakle.

St Peter's Cell, Limerick, situated on King's Island close to the city walls, was a convent of Augustinian canonesses founded by Domnall Mór Ó Brien in c.1171. St Peter's became a dependant of Killone (Clare) c.1189. It was recorded as ruinous in 1541 and no trace of the convent remains.


Loose Sculpture


The style of the carved head from Feakle appears to be Romanesque, probably 12thc. Examples of similar heads in Clare may be found at Kilvoydaune, Temple Cronan, Tomfinlough and Tuamgraney.


J. Begley, The Diocese of Limerick. 1906, I, 337–8.

A. Gwynn and R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: Ireland. London, 1970, 322.

E. Rynne, 'A Romanesque Head from Feakle, Co.Clare', North Munster Journal of Archaeologiy, 12, (1969), 91-92.