ME02804 - TOWNPARKS NORTH - Armorial plaque

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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 shields on the second (E) plaque show (fig. 11, 27): 1) Quarterly, 1 and 4, w bend, in sinister chief a tower (Plunkett). 2 and 3 a field chequy (a chequy shield appears on the fifteenth-century Plunkett Tomb at Dunsany and possibly represents a member of the same family — Hickey (1988-9, 133) suggested that it was a gentleman (perhaps a Warren) whose daughter and heiress married one of the Plunketts). 2) This shield is badly cracked. Quarterly, 1 and 4, a lion rampant with a bordure engrailed; 2 and 3, two lions passant. Hickey (ibid.) believed that the arms were those of Talbot and Strange quartered. 3) A heart pierced in saltire by two swords. These arms were first used in the fifteenth century to represent the Virgin Mary and often appear in churches dedicated to her. In Ireland, this coat of arms can be found on the fifteenth-century Maud Plunkett tomb in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Malahide (Co. Dublin), and on a tomb of the same period in St Mary’s Church at Killeen (Co. Meath). On the font in the ruined medieval church at Dunsany (Co. Meath), one of the angels holds a shield depicting a heart pierced saltire-wise by two swords. 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].

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

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53.5584, -6.79037

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