TOMBSTONES AND INSCRIPTIONS
Recorded by DR. BERYL F. E MOORE 1975-6.
See also section under Ticroghan
COGAN IN HIS DIOCESAN HISTORY says Tycroghan Church measures 35.9ft by 16.6ft. and was apparently used for some time for Protestant worship before being left as a ruin. The Rev. John Hoey when 90 years of age was killed on St. Patrick’s Day 1732 in Tycroghan when he tried to stop a drunken faction fight. He was felled by the blow of a stone in a stocking on the head and was buried in the communal priest’s grave in Ballyboggan graveyard in which are interred some 6 priests.
ORDINANCE SURVEY. . . Nicholson of Balrath, Kells used to own land here and likely before that the owners were Fitzgeralds and O’Neills. There was a small castle on a hill nearby called ‘The Turret’ which was tossed by the County Council in order to use the hill as a sandpit. Tycroghan castle is often called ‘Lady Mary’s Castle’ after a Fitzgerald lady who defended it against a large detachment of military in the absence of her husband with great courage and resource. The oft repeated story of the family silver being melted down to make bullets when the supply of lead ran out is told of this castle and its lady defender. There are very extensive military earthworks over many acres of land and Tycroghan Castle was situated in the centre of these earthworks. Near the castle was a water mill and water is said to have flowed between the earthworks and was called ‘The Conduit’. The ruins of an old R.I.C. Police Station are still to be seen in the immediate neighbourhood.
TYCROGHAN GRAVEYARD. . . It is circular and has a good stone wall around it. The diameter is 90ft. There are some half dozen dressed stones lying about the graveyard which must have belonged to doors or windows in the church and are in some cases used as grave markers but only one has any inscription carved on it.
THE CHURCH. . . Lately this interesting little ruin has become completely covered with ivy which has done great destruction. The walls seem to still remain at their original height. A large bough of ivy fell outwards into the east end of the graveyard in recent years bringing with it the mouldings of the east window but its pointed arch in rough rubble masonry has survived. The west window is roughly 3ft. square with a simple cutstone frame still in position but its central mullion is gone. It is only by holding the ivy aside with a fork that one can see this nice little window at all. There was also a window into the chancel on the south side. The only door is on the south side of the nave and it has some nice carved moulding around the doorcase on the outside but the inner frame is missing. It has a rounded arch and on the east jamb of the south doorway is a 3 inch circle with ‘I. FITZ.’ inside it. On the left side of the chancel are some steps leading down into a vault which is locally said to have been found when rabitting. Apparently the stone covering the vault was never replaced. This vault is thought to be the resting place of the great Fitzgerald family. An ambry is still to be seen in the south wall at its west end.
The dedication is St. Mary.
1) MALONEY 1869 – A stone with a peaked top with IHS and cross in its centre situated at the west end of the graveyard. It has fallen to the west and is still in its base. “SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF ROBERT MALONEY OF KINNEGAD WHO DIED AGED 66 YEARS. RESQUIESCANT IN PACE”.
2) LEECH 1780 – A stone with a domed top situated south-west of the church, tilting backwards and to the left. At the middle of the top is a heart-shaped panel but no details of the carving on it is visible. “IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGEMENT” HEBS (9. 27). “HERE LIE THE MORTAL REMAINS OF ELINOR LEECH OF TYCROGHAN WHO DIED THE 20 OF MAY 1780 AGED 40 YEARS. ALSO OF HER HUSBAND GEORGE LEECH WHO DIED THE 10th OF FEBy 1830 (We are not quite certain of the numeral 3) AGED 60 YEARS AT WHOSE REQUEST. . . . . . HAS BEEN ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF HER FATHER AND MOTHER ALSO HER HUSBAND THOMAS BYRNE”
3) MORAN 1725 – square- headed stone with cross and IHS at middle top. Situated on south side of graveyard opposite doorway into church. It is a re-used dressed stone. “HERE LISE Ye BODY OF THOMAS MORAN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE MAY Ye 1725 AND HIS FAMILY”.
4) SHERSON 1767 – Along south wall of church to east of doorway. This stone has a notched top. “ERECTED BY RICHARD SHERSON IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER WILLIAM SHERSON SEBr Ye 11th 1767 AGED 66 YEARS”.