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Ballybacon church, Ballybacon

(52°18′50″N, 7°53′0″W)
Ballybacon church, Ballybacon
S 08 18
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Tipperary
now Tipperary
medieval not confirmed
  • Tessa Garton

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Feature Sets

The 12thc. font, formerly in the ruined 13thc. church at Ballybacon, was removed in 1975 to this new Roman Catholic parish church.





In England square and rectangular fonts were most common in the 11thc. and early 12thc. In Ireland this form is unusual, and is more usually found with a polypod as opposed to single column support. The nature of the decoration makes it quite difficult to date the font with any accuracy. Floral motifs formed by intersecting arcs are found on the Ahenny and Kilamery Crosses located nearby on the Kilkenny-Tipperary border and these are traditionally dated between the 8thc. and 10thc., but such motifs also occur occasionally on late-medieval sculpture. Pike (1979, 9) suggests that the font is 'pre-conquest' while Cahill and Twohig (1976) date it to the mid-to late- 13thc.


R. R. Brash, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland , Dublin, 1875, 139, pl.XLVI.

M. Cahill and E. Twohig, Baptismal Font from Ballybacon Old Church, Co. Tipperary , Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society , 81, 1976, 92-3, fig.1.

J. Pike, Medieval Fonts of Ireland, privately published, Greystones, 1979, 9.

P. Power, Waterford and Lismore - A Compendious History of the United Dioceses, Cork, 1937, 71.