ME02138 - TOWNPARKS NORTH - Graveslab

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From Potterton (2005) App. 13, 396-7, No. 3: Fourteenth-century sandstone slab (Fig. 11.4) The central of three memorials set into the east wall inside the tower of St Patrick's church (ME036-048012-), this rectangular slab of red sandstone, now in two pieces, is decorated in high relief with a male (left) and a female bust side by side above a crucifixion. The male has curled hair that descends to level with his chin, which is bearded, while the lady wears a barbette with vertical pleats attached to a coif over which a veil descends to her shoulders. This variant of the wimple-and-veil headdress is known widely from slabs of this style in England, but only five examples have been recorded in Ireland. There is a possible pillow or headrest behind the busts. Christ is nailed to a floriated, mid-ribbed cross with two angels above his head swinging censers. He has a halo and his feet are crossed. John and Mary stand on either side, each haloed and dressed in a cloak and tunic. At the base of the slab is a twin-bodied beast biting the foot of the cross. From each tail of the beast grows an undulating stem of foliage that rises to support John and Mary respectively. The stem on the right (as one views it) is smooth and rounded (like the leaves at the top of the cross) and the leaves resemble fleur-de-lis, while the stem on the left is angular and the leaves may be those of a vine. The slab has no inscription. What is now the base of the slab has had a plaster or cement moulding of two shamrock leaves attached to it, but it seems likely that this base section was added to the slab in order to fill the nineteenth-century moulded surround. The edges of the entire slab may have been redressed to make it rectangular. Hunt (1974, 1, 35-7; 215-16, No. 209) dates this slab to the second quarter of the fourteenth century. This is almost certainly the memorial of a wealthy merchant and his wife. A slab of similar style is to be found in Kells (Co. Meath). [Length: 191cm (174cm excluding basal panel); Width: 52cm]. Date of upload: 16 February, 2015

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

53.5586, -6.79052

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