Sunday, April 16, 2017

Thirty Pieces of Silver (in stone)

While out for a walk today I wnet into the small cemetery at Donaghmore in Co Wexford. It is very close to some bad coastal erosion and over the past year Wexford Co Council did a fantastic job in creating a wall of boulders to protect the road and cemetery. I took the following photo of the grave of Anne and Loughlin Brenan (no relation) who died in 1748 and 1772 respectively:

In 2014 Wicklow County Council published "Here Lyeth - The 18th Century Headstones of County Wicklow" by Chris Corlett. It is of particular interest to me in that Denis Cullen, who I believe to be my ancestor, is lauded as a skilled stone-carver of headstones. The Cullens were based in Monaseed, Co Wexford, and according to Corlett in his book - they are responsible for many fine headstone carvings in Wicklow and Wexford. The headstone above is one of many ornate headstones in Donaghmore which are similar to the type that Cullen and his son created in the 18th/19th centuries. It is not signed (as Cullen typically did), so it may not be a Cullen original. Another stone nearby looks as though it might be a Cullen one. Above you'll see carvings of Christ on the cross, a ladder, a hammer and nails, and interestingly - 30 pieces of silver to the left of the Crucifixion (I counted them - there are 30). It's great to see such craftsmanship lasting over 250 years.

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