I took a brief break from work to visit the Beaulieu cadaver stone in Drogheda last week and take in the tour of Beaulieu House and Gardens which I had forfeited on my previous visit to focus on the church and graveyard. Unfortunately I was not able to assess the cadaver stone again as the church is now closed off to the public due to a change of leadership within the diocese.
During the tour of the house, our guide had remarked upon the importation of the cadaver monuments from England, owing possibly to the desire of the then landowners to emulate the greater English burial traditions that were exemplified at the time. Once the tour was concluded I took a moment to speak with the guide about the importation of the cadaver stone and the local tradition that suggested it came from the local riverbed. He substantiated the claim made by Roe as to the local tradition that the stone had in fact been retrieved from the silt of the riverbed which had acted in its own right as a form of preservation. He further stated that it had likely fallen into the waters during removal and was left behind. It seems odd that it would be left behind given the relative costs of production and importation however it is possible it was left behind as it could not in fact be found within the waters. Once the cadaver stone was removed it was brought to the later church site at Beaulieu where it still remains in very good condition.
Unfortunately none of the main family members named in the tour of the opening hall passed away within the date range of the cadaver stone either. This isn’t to say it was not for a member of the site however it would certainly require further genealogical assessments and a possible assessments of shipping records to the area to substantiate.
It is unfortunate the church site is currently closed but it meant we took more time in the gardens.