HEADSTONES AND INSCRIPTIONS
Recorded by Dr. Beryl F.E. Moore & Michael Kenny. 1977
RATHFEIGH graveyard measures 55 yds east west and 35 yds north south, and has a good stone wall around it. An iron gate and stile give access. There used to be an avenue inside the surrounding wall but now all is grass covered. There are only slight remains of the old Church but it is difficult to study these as all is now ivy-covered. The small Church was apparently of the nave-chancel variety with a Sacristy outside the north side of the chancel. This Sacristy seems to have had 3 small windows but no doors have survived. Nothing of the east, north or south walls remain, certainly not above the grass, but some of the west wall survives particularly at each corner, but all is enshrouded in ivy. These 2 corners reach a height of about 12 ft and the one on the south side has a stone Celtic head let into the wall about 8 ft from the ground. It is a large type of head with open mouth. This head seems to have been unknown till very recently when cattle got into the graveyard and pulled a lot of ivy off the west wall.
The inside nave measurements are 20 yds by 7 yds and 2 graves are sited here. Close to the south wall surrounding the graveyard is a watch house which has recently been converted into a toilet. These interesting little houses are generally found convenient to the city of Dublin where the Medical Schools were sited, for several weeks or months after burial relations of the deceased employed a man armed with a gun to sit up all night in these little houses ready to deal with any body-snatcher who might arrive. These guards were generally old soldiers who were trained to keep awake at night when on duty and were conversant with the use of firearms.
2 headstones in nave of church.
1) MOONEY – Solid cross now lying on the ground but was on top of a high slab. A lamb on a cross in a central boss and 4 small crosses around it in a sunburst. A scroll contains the first word “ERECTED” then follows “BY CATHERINE MOONEY IN MEMORY OF HER BELOVED HUSBAND PETER MOONEY WHO DIED 27th OCT. 1883 AGED 77 YEARS. ALSO THE ABOVE CATHERINE WHO DIED JAN. 6th 1900 AGED 86 YEARS. AND THEIR SONS CHRISTOPHER WHO DIED 11th NOV. 1919 AGED 58 YEARS. PATRICK WHO DIED 9th NOV.1930 AGED 73 YEARS. MAY THEY REST IN PEACE”. At bottom T.H. DENNANY GLASNEVIN.
2) FITZPATRICK – Domed top and central boss with cross and IHS encircled by foliage, winged cherub on either side. Grave enclosed by an iron railing.“ERECTED BY ANDREW FITZPATRICK IN MEMORY OF HIS MOTHER MARY FITZPATRICK ALIAS GALLAGHER WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 29th OF OCTr 1791 AGED 54 YEARS. ALSO HIS FATHER PATRICK FITZPATRICK DEPARTEd THIS LIFE THE 25th OCT.1817 AGED 78 Yrs. PATRICK FITZPATRICK DIED 19th NOV. 1819 AGED 8 YEARS. ANDREW FITZPATRICK DIED 1st JULY 1854 AGED 84
YEARS. MICHAEL FITZPATRICK DIED 8th FEB. 1872 AGED 55 YEARS. MARGt FITZPATRICK DIEd 14TH JULY 1879 AGED 32 YEARS. CATHERINe FITZPATRICK DIED 14th MAY 1888 AGED 73. MARY ANNE FITZPATRICK DIED 25th AUG. 1905 AGED 65 YEARS. CATHERINE FITZPATRICK DIED 8th AUGUST 1911 AGED 70 YEARS”. R I P at bottom.
Headstones on east side of church right to left.
3) MADDEN – Ringed cross with its hatlike top, flaming heart in centre and floral design carved over the cross, and on the base the following inscription. “ERECTED BY JOHN MADDEN IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER JOHN DIED 13 JUNE 1889 AGED 77 Yrs. HIS MOTHER JUDITH DIED 21 OCT. 1908 AGED 81 Yrs, AND HIS SISTER-IN-LAW MRS. MARY MADDEN DIED 18 DEC. 1915 AGED 46 Yrs. THE ABOVE JOHN DIED 5 JUNE 1950. HIS WIFE CATHERINE DIED 28th SEPT. 1966”. R I P at bottom and MOSS on base.
4) COONEY – Black wooden cross with “COONEY FAMILY R I P”. White marble heart shaped stone on grave with “IN LOVING MEMORY OF CORNELIUS COONEY DIED 26th MAY 1940 LATE THOMAS ST. DUBLIN R I P”.
5) REILLY – Solid cross on top of a slab with IHS in its centre. There is considerable light carving over the cross. “ERECTED BY RICHARD REILLY OF RATHFEIGHT IN MEMORY OF HIS UNCLEs RICHARD, PATRICK & JAMES.
ALSO HIS AUNT MARY MAY”. R I P at bottom F.WHYTE, on left base and Chord Drogheda on right. And in this inscription is represented as an ampersand &.
6) MC KEON – Small domed slab with IHS at top. “ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN McKEON OF LAGORE WHO DIED 11 OCT. 1878 AGED 76”. At bottom R I P.
7) CREGAN – This stone faces west. Domed stone with cross IHS and heart in a full sunburst and outside it ‘GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO ET IN TERRA PAX NOMINIBUS BONE VOLUCTATIS’. Cherub’s head and wings on each side.
Inscription in Latin “HIC JACET JOANES CREGAN PRESBYTER MIDENSIS OBIT ANNO DOMINI 1816 ETATIS 67. REQUIESCAT IN PACE”.
8) WOGAN – This stone is leaning forward and very difficult to read. It was also covered in ivy till we cleaned it off. It is a large domed stone with cross IHS and heart in a full sunburst. The heart has a plant growing out of it. There is a rose on each side and a raised frame around the inscription. “THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY ROBERT WOGAN IN MEMORY OF HIS BROTHER JAMES WOGAN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 30th OF MARCH 1795 AGED 60 YEARS. ALSO HIS WIFE ANN WOGAN ALIAS…ND DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 20th OF JULY 1805 AGED 67 YEARS. ALSO THOMAS WOGAN DEPARTd THIS LIFE THE 1st OF MAY 1794 AGED 20 YEARS AND ALSO MARY WOGAN ALIAS MOORE DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 19th OF MARCH 1808 AGED 69 YEARS”.
9) MULLEN – This stone tilts forward and to the right and had ivy growing on it. There are 2 stopper stones. The top is domed, in centre is INRI (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews) and a Crucifixion under it. Our Lord has a halo and a good head of hair. There are three steps under the cross and on each side a torch in a holder. The flame of which can clearly be seen. There is a cherub’s head and wing’s on each side. Underneath this excellent and elaborate carving is ‘MEMENTO MORI’ and underneath that a skull and crossbones. An ornamental border is carved around the inscription. “ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF SIMON MULLEN LATE OF RUFF (?) GRANGE CO. OF MEATH WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 7th FEBy 1831 AGED 71YEARS. AND ALSO HIS WIFE ANNE MULLEN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 27th APRIL 1836 AGED 71YEARS. AND ALSO HIS DAUGHTER CATHERIne MULLEN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 9th AUGUST 1820 AGED 14 YEARS. LIKEWISE OF HIS SON MICHAEL MULLEN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 7th MAY 1837 AGED 34 YEARS. Remember death, night after day, It’s a tribute ye all must pay, As I am you will be in clay, And for my soul be pleased to pray”
10) A completely broken headstone.
11) RYAN – Domed stone with cross IHS and cherub with outstretched wings in a full sunburst. Leafy foliage around and a cherub below on each side. Some drapery artistically arranged around 3 sides of the inscription. A rose in the centre at top and fancy wheels on each side. “HERE LIETH THE REMAINS OF PATRICK RYAN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE FEBry 10th 1793 AGED 88 Yrs. ALSO HIS SONS JOHN AND MARTIN THE FORMER DIED FEBry 16th 1797 AGED 48 Yrs. AND HIS GRANDSON MARTIN THE SON OF JOHN DIED MARCH 6th 1806 AGED 22 Yrs. ALSO MARGARET WIFE OF PATRICK AND THEIR SONS JAMES JOHN MARTIN PATRICK. HIS WIFE MARGARET THEIR CHILDREN REVd PATRICK RYAN PETER THRESA JOHN. BRIDGET WIFE OF WILLIAM RYAN DIED 8th NOVEMBER 1868. PATRICK RYAN DIED 21st FEB. 1880”. REQUIESCANT IN PACE AMEN at bottom. There is a stopper stone on each side.
12) COWLEY – White marble stone with Head of Our Lord at centre of top and a black cross on each side. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF ANDREW COWLEY SENASCHALSTOWN, BROWNSTOWN DIED 29th OCT. 1951 ALSO HIS FATHER AND MOTHER MATTHEW AND MARY COWLEY”. At base R I P on one side and RENNICKS FLOWER HILL NAVAN on the other side.
13) COWLEY – Ringed cross with lamb carrying a cross in centre, floral design on the cross. “LORD HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF MRS ALICE COWLEY WHO DIED 31st DECEMBER 1879 AGED 60 YEARS. MATTHEW DIED 1946. ANDREW DIED 1951. MARY DIED 1958”. R I P at bottom and FITZPATRICK & MOLLOY and at other side GLASNEVIN.
14) MADDEN – Domed top, INRI in centre of top and a crucifixion underneath. Our Lord’s ribs and the nails are clearly shown. A cherub with wings on each side. Skull and crossbones under Our Lord’s feet. On viewer’s right we get the winged figure of The Blessed Virgin Mary kneeling down praying and on viewer’s left St. John also winged and kneeling in prayer. “ERECTED BY PATRICK MADDEN IN MEMORY OF HIS CHILDREN. HIS SON JOHN MADDEN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 1st OF MAY 1823 AGED 26 YEARS. ALSO HIS SON CHRISTOPHER MADDEN DIED THE 2nd OF MAY 1824 AGED 19Yrs. HIS DAUGHTER ALLICIA MADDEN DIED THE 14th OF MAY 1826 AGED 24 YErs.” 2 stopper stones.
15) MADDEN – This must have been a very large and imposing headstones but it now lies in 5 broken pieces on the ground. The inscription apparently was on the middle stone and there likely was a small pinnacle or cross on the top stone which is now missing, “SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF LOTT MADDEN WHO DIED 25th JUNE 1870 AGED 56 YEARS. ERECTED BY HIS AFFECTIONATE WIFE MARY WHO DIED 1st MAY 1877 AGED 54 YEARS.” R I P at bottom and T H DENNANY GLASNEVIN. One of the loose pieces has IHS on it.
16) WALTRIM – A narrow bit of a large recumbent slab with sides undressed so it may have been over a vault in the floor of the chancel. It was only a few inches under the ground where it now is but we couldn’t find any other piece. This piece measures 22 ins
wide and 5 ins thick …… LYETH ..… JOHN WALTRIN WHO DECECED YE 30 DAY OF APRILL IN Ye YEARE OF OVER LORD GOD THIS D……… In the case of the first 2 of the ye’s the E is written above the Y but not in the third.
17) MAGUIRE – Small domed stone much sunk in the ground, with a half sunburst over a cross and IHS with a floral trail around the top. “THIS STONE WAS ERECTd BY HUGH MAGUIRE IN MEMORY OF HIS MOTHER CATHERINE MAGUIRE WHO DEPd THIS LIFE YE DECEMr 26. 1793 AGEd 61 Yrs,”
18) … No name or inscription on an iron cross with a lamb on it.
South side of church
19) O’FLANIGAN – This stone faces west. Domed top with cross IHS and a chalice in a half sunburst, with cherub’s head and wings on either side. “HERE LIETH THE REMAINS OF THE REVd PETER O’FLANIGAN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 2nd OF MAY 1792 AGED 32 YEARS. MEMENTO MORI.”
20) FLANAGAN – Stone almost completely buried in the ground. A domed headstone with a small cross each arm of which ends in a trefoil. “HERE LYETH THE BODY OF JAMES FLANAGAN WHO DECEASED NOVEMBr YE 25. 1725 AGED 60 YEARS. ALSO HIS WIFE MARY FLANAGAN WHO DECEASED APRIL 12. 1714 …” rest buried in ground.
21) FLANAGAN – This stone is carved almost exactly the same as no. 9 (MULLEN).
“ERECTED BY MARGARET FLANAGAN IN MEMORY OF HER BELOVED HUSBAND PATRICK FLANAGAN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE ON THE 17th DAY OF NOVEMBER 1817 AGED 77 YEARS. ALSO HIS SON MATHEW FLANAGAN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 14th DAY OF MARCH 1815 AGED 27 YEARS.”
22) WOODS – This stone is leaning forward, it is domed with cross and IHS surrounded by a full sunburst and ‘GLORIA etc around it. “THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY MICHI WOODS IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED WIFE CATHERINE WOODS WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 8th JULY 1816 AGED 44 YEARS. ALSO 5 OF THEIR CHILDREN WHO DIED YOUNG. HERE ALSO LIES THE REMAINS OF BRIDGET WOODS SISTER OF MICHI WOODS WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 1st JUNE 1801 AGED 21 YEARS”.
23) JOHNSON – This is a very roughly carved stone broken in 2 pieces and another piece missing. Cross and IHS at middle top. “—IETH THE BODY OF ……JOHNSON
(F for S) WHO DEPARTd ……THE SECOND OF MARCH …..HE 42 nd YEAR OF HIS AGE”.
24) JOHNSON – Much sunk in the ground. Cross and IHS in centre of top. “HERE LIETH THE BODY OF CHRISr JOHNSON WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE JULY THE 11th 1747 AGED 91 YEARS AND CATHERINE FLANAGAN AGED 86.
25) KEARNEY – Under a yew tree is a stone with a peaked top much sunk in the ground. A cross at centre of top. “ERECTED BY RICHd KEARNEY IN MEMORY OF HIS DEAR INFANT MARGARET WHO DIED 10 JAN 1850 AGED 2 Yrs and 2 MONTHS.”
26) BRYEN – A large stone tilting forward. Notched top. Flame around inscription. A lamb on a cross in a full sunburst but the lamb is now missing. Around this motif is ‘BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD’. On either side is a chalice. All was covered in ivy.
“ERECTED BY PATRICK BRYEN OF MARY’S ALLEY DUBLIN IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED WIFE MARGARET O’BRYEN WHOSE MORTAL REMAINS TOGETHER WITH HER PARENTS AND TWO OF HER CHILDREN LIE HERE INTERRED WHO DIED ON THE 21st OF APRIL 1840.”
27) MERRY – This stone is completely covered in white lichen and very difficult to read. It has a domed top with cross and IHS. “TO THE MEMORY OF MICHAEL MERRY WHO DIED 1817 AND HIS WIFE BRIDGET WHO DIED 1810. ALSO THEIR SON SYLVESTER WHO DIED 1825. ALSO CHRISTOPHER MERRY WHO DIED 1813.” R I P at bottom and ‘FITZPATRICK & MOLLOY GLASNEVIN.
28) MERRY – Domed stone tilting backwards cross and IHS in centre of top and 17 on one side and 64 on the other. “HERE LIETH THE BODY OF JOHN MERRY WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 23rd OF NOVEMBER 1738 AGED 52 YEARS. (A scroll ends this line). ALSO THE BODY OF HIS WIFE MARY FLANAGAn WHO DIED THE 6th APRIL1838 AGED 45 YEARS. LIKEWISE THE BODY OF HIS BROTHER WILLIAM MERRY WHO DEPARTed THIS LIFE THE 28th OF APRIL 1755 AGED 59 YEARS. ALSO THE BODY OF MARY CE/MARRY (here the name is spelt Marry and there is what looks like a ‘CE’ above, perhaps to suggest McMarry) WHO DECEASED THE 23rd OF JANUARY 1763 AGED 20 YEARS. DAUGHTER OF MICHAEL McMARRY AND MARY ALLEN OF PRIMATESTOWNE . HERE LYETH THE BODY OF Ye ABOVE MICHI MERRY DEPt THIS LIFE THE 14th OF NOVr 1779 AGED 60 Yrs. REQUIESCANT IN PACE AMEN.”
29) … – This stone is in front of No. 28 but almost altogether under ground. It is a thin sliver of stone with a cross with expanded ends and an H with a heart under it but no I or S but this may be because there was no room for it.
30) A small cross set in a base without an inscription.
31) Rectangular stone dressed on one side but no inscription.
32) CARE – notched top, rose on either side but central carving too worn to describe. “THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY JOHN AND MICK CARE IN MEMORY OF
THEIR FATHer ROBERT CARE WHO DIED OCTOBER Ye 6. 1774 AGED 83 Yrs. ALSO MARY CARE WHO DIED JULY 9. 1779 AGED 72 Yrs.”
33) McGINNIS – Domed top, cross and IHS in a half sunburst and heart underneath.
“THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY PETER McGINNIS IN MEMORY OF HIS MOST AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTER ANNE McGINNIS WHO DEPARTEd THIS LIFE JANUARY THE 22nd 189.. AGED 19 YEARs. HERE ALSO LIETH THE BODY OF MARGARET FLANAGAN WIFE TO PETER McGINNIS WHO DIED THE 18th OF JUNE 1809 AGED 57 YEARs. There is more but it is underground.
34) O’TOOLE – There are 4 headstones in the next large enclosure covered with cement and with a curb around them. No.34 has a ringed cross with 4 bosses and heart and IHS in centre. “ERECTED BY MATT O’TOOLE GREEN PARK IN MEMORY OF HIS SON PATRICK DIED 2nd JAN. 1841. AGED 30 YEARS. HIS FATHER PATRICK O’TOOLE DIED 19th APRIL 1930 AGED 90 YEARS. HIS MOTHER KATE DIED 4th AUG. 1932 AGED 76 YEARS. THE ABOVE MATT DIED 4th JAN 1965 AGED 83 YEARS. HIS WIFE MARY DIED 4th APRIL 1969 AGED 86 YEARS.” R I P at bottom and BENNETT ARDBRACCAN.
35) TOOL – A domed stone with 3 cherubs head and outstretched wings at each side. Crucifixion showing the cross very clearly and a skull and crossbones under Our Lord’s feet. “ERECTED BY MATHEW TOOL IN MEMORY OF HIS BROTHER PETER TOOL WHO DIED THE 18th JUNE 1804 AGED 21 YEARS. THOMAS TOOL DIED 18th NOVr. 1808 AGED 20. HIS MOTHER ANN TOOL ALIAS CRUMWELL DIED 21 NOV. 1815 aged 55. HIS FATHER BRYAN TOOL DIED 6th JUNE 1816 AGED 50 Yrs.”
36) O’TOOLE – Small white marble domed stone with cross on top. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY DEAR PARENTS PATRICK O’TOOLE DIED 9th NOV. 1958 AGED 69 YEARS AND KATHLEEN O’TOOLE DIED 5th DEC. 1964 AGED 69 YEARS LATE OF 35 PATRICK’S Tce. DRUMCONDRA.” R I P at bottom.
37) O’TOOLE – Limestone slab with cross at top. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN O’TOOLE CORBALTON WHO DIED 18th DEC. 1972 AGED 88. HIS COUSINS MARY O’TOOLE DIED 19th SEPT. 1971 AGED 84. ALSO MICHAEL AND JULIA.” R I P at bottom and T. REID DONORE Rd DROGHEDA.
38) SHERIDAN – Small scroll like slab, “ERECTED BY MRS MARY O’TOOLE IN MEMORY OF HER PARENTS AND BROTHER, THE SHERIDAN FAMILY GREEN PARK.” R I P at bottom.
39) Large stone lying on its face broken in 2 pieces and we were unable to turn it.
40) BARTLEY – Peaked stone with IHS in centre of top. “ERECTED BY JULIA BARTLEY KILMOON IN MEMORY OF HER FATHER PATRICK BARTLEY WHO DIED 29 SEPT. 1885. ALSO HER MOTHER ELIZABETH WHO DIED 18th FEB. 1896.” R I P at bottom, and R.WHYTE CHORD DROGHEDA.
41) WELDON – Solid cross with heart in centre and floral design on each limb. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN WELDON KILBREW DIED 24 SEPT. 1948. HIS WIFE JULIA DIED 6 AUGUST 1953.” R I P at bottom and “ERECTED BY THEIR FAMILY.” M. DOGGETT DONORE.
42) LANGAN – Solid cross with heart in centre and floral design on each limb. “IN MEMORY OF RICHARD LANGAN RATHFEIGH DIED 19 JAN. 1896. HIS WIFE CATHERINE DIED 4 OCT. 1915. THEIR SON GEORGE DIED 25 JULY 1893 AND THEIR DAUGHTERS NELLIE PERRY DIED 30 AUG. 1918 AND NANCIE DIED 18 OCT. 1918. ELIZABETH DIED 1 Sep. 1954, THEIR SONS RICHARD DIED 25 JAN 1954. THOMAS DIED 29 JAN.1955. FREDERICK DIED 20 DEC. 1957 AND EDWARD DIED 16 JAN. 1966.” R I P at bottom & MOSS.