From Potterton (2005, App. 13, 406-08)
Among the medieval plaques and slabs mounted on the N wall of the vestibule of the tower of St Patrick's church (ME036-048012-) are two rectangular fossiliferous limestone tablets each comprising three rectangular compartments. As with the piscina, each of the compartments is decorated in false relief with an angel carrying an armorial shield. The arms on the first plaque, at the W end of the wall, is in considerably better condition thatn the one on the right (E), but the quality of the carving also appears to be higher. The arms on the W plaque (fig. 11, 26) are:
1) Sable on a fess between three crescents as many estoiles. These arms have been tentatively identified with the FitzSimon family, although the connection with Trim is unclear (Hickey 1988-9, 132).
2) A very unusual shield. A lion rampant debruised by a fess, within a border wavy. Hickey (ibid. 132) suggested that it may represent the arms of the de Lacy family, usually or, a lion rampant purpure, but this is by no means certain.
3) Or, four lions rampant in quadrangle; 1 and 4 sable; 2 and 3 gules (the arms of Queen Phillipa, wife of Edward III and mother of Lionel, duke of Clarence). Hickey (ibid. 133) suggested that this shield may represent a member of the Bathe family, who were prominent in Dublin and Meath in the fifteenth century.
It is clear that these plaques and the piscina belong to the same ensemble, and the available evidence suggests that they date to the fifteenth century (ibid. 132). The possible de Lacy shield, the arms of the Virgin Mary and the fact that both the duke of York and Edward IV made grants to St Mary’s Abbey (Stat. Ire. 12-22 Edw. IV P 42-7) have prompted Hickey (1988-8, 129, 134) to argue that the plaques, together with the piscina, may originally have formed part of an armorial scheme in the Priory of St Mary at Trim. There is evidence, however, that these items were indeed original to St Patrick’s Church. A seventeenth-century manuscript (TCD MS 807, fo. 380) in Trinity College Dublin contains drawings of the shields from the St Patrick’s piscina under the heading ‘in ecclesia de Trim [Dimensions of the plaques: Height: 35cm; Width: 60cm; Depth: c.4cm].
Date of upload: 16 February, 2015Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.