Tydavnet Old Graveyard, Co. Monaghan

Graveyard envy

Visions Of The Past

Tydavnet Old Graveyard is home to some of the most beautiful and highly decorated 17th and 18th century headstones in Ireland. What makes this graveyard unusual is the sheer amount of Momento Mori or Mortality Stones, these stones were meant to jar the viewer into acknowledgement of their own eventual fate and also to encourage people to improve their behaviour in this life. These decorative motifs on display in Tydavnet include skull and cross-bones, the hourglass, coffin and bell motifs.

A pre-reformation church, dedicated to St Domhnait once stood in the graveyard but no trace of it remains. It can be surmised that due to the placement of the 17th and 18th century graves that the church had almost completely disappeared by the late 17th century. The earliest surviving memorial in the graveyard was erected to John Foster who died in 1677. The memorial consists of a highly decorated slab…

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