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to the frost and rain by the removal of the chancel roof. When the Creaghs' monument was commenced, the architect probably found the older tomb too hopelessly ruined for re-erection, and while reinserting and thereby doing much to preserve the plinth panels and those behind the canopy, replaced it with a lighter and not displeasing modern structure. The spans of its three front arches are 31 inches, like the ancient ones; they have weak mouldings separated by stepped buttresses with oblique ones at the corners, and have crocketed heads, without finials, running up to stepped gables, with narrow trefoil headed panels imitated from the " Inchiquin tomb." The whole reflects great credit on the local masons who executed it on the spot. The back, which was probably filled by a fresco in the ancient structure, is now covered with tablets giving the names, and dates of death, of fourteen of the Creaghs of Dangan, from 1641 to 1842, the time of the re-erection ;' in the centre is a large crest and escutcheon, below are cut the lines : “A temporibus cum finibus extorres et haereditas sua Adarensis, Limericensem juxta, ad alienos injuste translata fuit, hic humati sunt nepotes O’Niel Creagh.” Along the back and under the modern tablets a series of figures from the 1460 tomb stretch in a row 8 feet long and 2 feet high. The eastern are much defaced, the more perfect panels, No. 2 to 9, are sketched on the opposite page. The figures represent—(1) A saint, probably Thomas, holding the shaft of a long spear; (2) Paul with a sword; (3) Andrew with his cross; (4) John with a lily; (5) Simon with a saw; (6) Peter with the keys; (7) Our Lord enthroned : He wears a large crown, like the figures on the belfry, and holds with His left hand a globe with a cross ending in trefoils ; (8) Matthew with the tax bag; (9) Bartholomew with the knife, his gown has peculiar long sleeves and strap ; (10) figure partly cut away; (11) James the less with a club; (12) Probably Philip with a small cross ; (13) A figure with a lance or halbert. All except John have long hair and beards; 5, 7, and 8 are barefooted, the rest wear pointed shoes.
Sufficient of the ancient canopy exists to reconstruct it. Unfortunately it has been scattered about the nave and transept, though the workmen, enlightened by common sense, had gathered the pieces together before the fragments were reduced to their present state of chaos in the final " arrangement." The ancient canopy had three pointed arches 6 feet 8 inches high and 31 inches wide, the piers 5 feet 2 inches high and 8 inches wide, the buttresses only 2} inches to 3 inches. Abore each arch is a moulding, running up in ogee lines and then straight, with
1 These are copied in the “Diocese of Killaloe," p. 490.
? A doubtful statement as regards some of the names here recorded, for the family was not transplanted to Clare till 1652, and Piers-Creagh only died in 1667, their ancient burial-place being in Limerick Cathedral. There is a well-cut shield of their arms, im paling Roche, evidently Elizabethan, in the Dominican Abbey of Limerick.
3 A drawing of a proposed restoration from the existing stones is shown on the opposite page.
5 · 6 SCALE FOR N: 1.9
Details of “Royal Tomb,” circa 1460.
v. Inscription on Panel 2 (p. 147). vi. Carvings on back wall.
JOUR. R.S.A.I., VOL. V., PT. II., 6TH SER.
rows of full bold crockets and lofty finials; the space under the ogee is trefoil over the side arches, but over the central one there is a plaque containing a venerable bearded head. The only recovered pillar has two round shafts, spirally, fluted at the back; in front it is square, with buttresses to each side; the main faces have ogee-headed panels running up into beautiful little sprays of leaves and flowers. At the top are seen the slots for two t-shaped metal ties, as if the architect feared for his slender structure. This pier was found outside the south wall of the chancel, near the belfry, in the first week of the excavations, and the base was eventually found, with many blocks of the canopy in the same spot, but from their worse preservation they were probably not so long buried; the more perfect finial and some bosses from the groined roof lay in the room over the sacristy, and a fragment of the façade stopped a hole for a bellrope in the tower. The groining consisted of numerous chamfered ribs springing in fans from the inner edges of the pillars and from plain pointed corbels set in the wall. The whole frontage is 9 feet 7 inches long; the height of piers and canopy 10 feet 10 inches, to which at least 4 feet must be added for the plinth.
The second canopied TOMB, covering the graves of King TORLOUGH, Covēba Macnamara, and the later Barons of Inchiquin, stands against the south-wall of the chancel, cutting into the second window from the east. It seems to date before 1500, and is not of very happy design, the sides being quite plain ; the upper part has a series of heavy horizontal mouldings along a flat dovetailed arch; above these is a panelling of small trefoil. headed recesses, and a plain sloping roof, the whole much resembling a fireplace. It has one beautiful feature in the miniature groinings of
the canopy consisting of five bays, with six ribs meeting in bosses carved with roses; the outer ends cluster into four sharp pendants in front, and eight pointed corbels to the back and sides. The side corbels and two at the back, end in sprays of the dog-rose, mallow, ivy, and cranesbill delicately carved ; all of these plants abound in and near the ruin. The interspaces of the front ribs are filled with other leaves, the ranunculus being very recognisable, also the graceful blossoms of the flowering rush,
which light up with delicate mauve the shallows of the neighbouring lakes and the sedgy banks of the Fergus each July. The artist must have gone out into the meadows and marshes for his models, and carved them in the hard grey marble “nature still, but nature methodised.” The leaves on the sides of the recess were covered with modern plaister till 1887, when I discovered one, and cleared the rest, taking rubhings and sketches. A modern tomb of the Priestleys, 1823, fills the recess. Bru odin's statement that King Torlough was buried in this tomb to the left of the altar, becomes less improbable when we reflect that the mangled remains of King Brian Roe, his rival, were possibly restored by De Clare to Prince Donchad, and laid in the space unoccupied by the founder, to the north of the altar; after Donchad himself was drowned in the Fergus, 1283, his body was recovered and probably buried in the same place : Torlough and his friend Macnamara would naturally be laid as far as possible from their foes.' Lapse of years would lead the descendants of Brian Catha an Eanaigh to occupy the less crowded north side in the fifteenth century, while, after another century the Earls of Thomond for similar reasons would seek a new monument; finally the last recognised
King, Murrough, and his descendants the Lords of Inchiquin, resumed the use of the south tomb till his namesake Murrogh “ the burner" sought a burial-place (soon to be violated) in Limerick Cathedral.
On a boss of a groined canopy now laid in a break in the south-wall of the choir is a mutilated carving representing our Lord greatly emaciated, with His hands crossed and bound before Him, and held by a second figure, of which the arm and hand alone remain ; this may be a portion of the groining of the “Royal tomb" and date from 1460. Under the side recesses of the belfry (which is an insertion of, perhaps, the early fifteenth century, and blocks up two of the older side windows) are four
? For the history of all these princes, see in our Journal for 1890–1891, “The Normans in Thomond.”
? It is shown in the foreground of the view of the Chapter House, p. 140, supra. Near it a fragment, with the Thomond crest and part of the arms, is built into the wall.