Lining the E side of the path up to the door of the present Church of Ireland church at Julianstown is the 'Apostle Stone', which is the limestone surround of a chest-tomb in three sections (total L 3.9m; H 0.6m). It is crudely executed and unfinished, probably dating from the 17th century. The head of each saint is surrounded by a cowl of uncut stone, indicating the unfinished state of the carving. All were to be represented as priests or monks with the two ends of girdles almost reaching the ground at the front of the pleated habits. All were bearded, but only three of the beards are pointed and only four are finished. Some saints can be identified (numbered from the left), but at least five are represented with open books floating above and sometimes below their hands, merely indicating their apostolic mission. Amongst those who can be identified is Thomas (1) with a set-square to represent the church he is said to have built in India with his own hands. St Peter (7) has a key almost as big as himself, Andrew (8) has a boat-hook (one of his symbols), and James (9) has a small satchel like a hand-bag, representing pilgrims as he is associated with the pilgrimage to Compostella in Spain. Saint No 5 is carrying weighing scales, which would indicate St Michael, who might be an Archangel but is not an Apostle. The stone is said to have come originally from Ballylehane castle, Co. Laois (LA025-023----) and is associated with the Hovenden and ffolliot families.
See the attached images:
001: Saints 1-3, including Thomas (1); 002: Saints 4-6, including Michael (5); 003: Saints Peter (7), Andrew (8), James (9); 004: Saints 9-12.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of revised upload: 13 April, 2015Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage