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Killiney History | May 30, 2024

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Killiney Ancient Church – Gravestone Inscriptions

Killiney Ancient Church – Gravestone Inscriptions
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2023 | author

Killiney Old Church and Churchyard. [From the Rev. R. S. Maffett, B.A.]

Extract from Journal of the Society for the Preservation of Memorials of the Dead 1907/09 pp.574-576

Below are two of the inscriptions in the old churchyard of Killiney, which I copied in 1895-6. The rest (to the number of above a dozen), taken in the latter year, I hope to send at a future time with some notes on the interior of the old church, its font, and the small cross lying in the latter. It is curious how devoid this ground is of old or interesting inscriptions, surrounding, as it does, an ancient Irish church with square-headed door in the west end, the lintel of which has a cross in relief on the side parallel to the ground. * These ruins are preserved as a National Monument. To the east of the east wall of the chancel, and nearer to it than to the boundary of the churchyard, is a flat stone with the following inscription, in which the last three “A’s” have two strokes forming an angle, instead of a cross-stroke, and the second “1” in the year extends below the line like the 7 and 9 :

In this sequester’d spot to rest,  
Is my last wish-my last request,  
Till the last call surprise.  
May you and I then rise in love,  
And with the blefs’d rejoice above,  
Nor death more cloud our Eyes. Amen.

Written by Elizabeth Murphy, who died on  
the 12th day of Feb 1791. Aged 60.

She is Interred here agreeable to her desire,  
and this Stone is laid by her  
affectionate Niece Ann Fetherston.

Another stone lying almost parallel to the northern part of the ruins, and considerably nearer to it than to the churchyard wall, has the inscription given below, in which the cross-stroke of the initial “H” is ornamental. The head of this stone is on a line with the east jamb of the arched doorway, and the inscription reads the usual way. I do not find the deceased’s name in Todd’s “Catalogue of Graduates of Dublin University”; but the date of his death, as recorded on the stone, makes it more than probable that it is he who is referred to in the following entries in Cotton’s “Fasti”, under “Prebendaries of St. Michael’s” (Christ Church Cathederal), and “Third Canons ” (Kildare Cathedral), respectively – “1798. John William Dudley Ryves, M.A., elected October 12th; admitted October 20th; installed October 22nd. He died in 1801.” “1799. Dudley Ryves, installed April 13th. He died in 1801. Volume V of the “Fasti” shows that the Prebendary and Canon were the same person. The only place in the JOURNAL where  the surname occurs is, I believe, at pp. 193-4 of Volume V.:

Here lieth the Remains of the Revd
Dudley Ryves. Late Minister, of the  
Parish of Monckstown, [sic] & its Unions  
departed this Life March ye Second, 1801.

*The height of this doorway, which is composed for the most part of granite, is about 6 feet, its width at the bottom 2 feet 4 inches, and at the top 2 feet. The cross, which is of the Greek type, measures 1 foot 5 inches from north to south, and 2 inches less from east to west. The width of the arms is about 3 inches, and the cross varies in relief from three-eighths to half an inch. The width of the stone on which it is sculptured is 2.5 feet (the thickness of the walls here) and its length 3 feet 3 inches. The stone is 10 or 11 inches thick. The west end of the entire ruins measures some 33 feet outside, the later adjunct at the north side (extending along the nave and greater part of the chancel to the length of some 35 feet, as compared with the 39, or so, of the older building) not being so wide as the nave. There is a rectangular granite dressed window with perpendicular mullion on the south side of the nave, a good deal nearer the chancel than the west end of the wall. Each aperture measures about 14.5 inches in width and 27 in height. The chancel, which is above one third of the entire length of the ruins, recedes about 2 feet, outside measurement, from the line of the nave, and has in the east end a square-headed aperture 6.5 inches wide and about 2.5 feet high. The east end of the adjunct (outside measurement about 16 feet 8 inches) has a window with rounded arch some 13 inches wide and 3 feet 4 inches high, and there are on the north side of this part two square-topped apertures, some 2 feet in height by half a foot in width, before we come to a granite doorway 2 feet 3 inches wide, with pointed arch, from which there is a little more than 7 feet of wall to the west end of the ruins. The height of the west wall of this adjunct runs from some 3 to 9 feet. These particulars, I think, are pretty accurate, though taken from notes made some twelve years ago. It remains to say that the gables of the nave and chancel are perfect. RR

Read the full history of the church HERE

Night view of church and graveyard

Other Inscriptions from the Graveyard

BRYAN Erected by Elizabeth Bryan of Dalkey in memory of her beloved husband William Bryan who departed this life 9 April 1858 aged 56 years. Also his daughter Mary aged 9 years.

BURK This stone was erected by Patrick Burk of Castle Town Delvin, County Westmeath, in memory of his brother John who Departed this life July 30th 1791 aged 39 Years.

Burk headstone. Photo by Michael McShane February 2022

BYRNE Here lieth the body of Peter Byrne who departed this life May 23rd 1864 aged 2 years.

DILLON Thomas Francis Dillon aged 6 years, and his brother Charles Paul Dillon aged 3 years. Died May 1862. Suffer little children to come unto me.

Dillon headstone. Photo by Michael McShane February 2022

FERRALL In affectionate memory of Luke Ferrall who died 7 Jan. 1855 aged 78 years, and Catherine his wife died 29 Jan. 1867 aged 80 years. Two of their daughters Eliza died 13 May 1835 aged 28 years, and Catherine died 13 April 1849 aged 38 years.

KAVANAGH Erected by Anne Kavanagh in memory of her beloved husband Bartholomew Kavanagh died 22 May 1857 aged 57 years. Also 5 of his beloved children who died young.

Kavanagh headstone. Photo by Michael McShane February 2022

MAHER This stone was erected by Jms. Maher of Kingstown in mem, of his beloved brother John Maher who dept. this life 28 April 1828 aged 26 years.

MASTERSON Erected by Thomas Masterson of ballybrack in Memory of his Father and Mother and Brothers Christopher and William. A.D. 1861. May they Rest in Peace Amen

Masterson headstone. Photo by Michael McShane February 2022

NEILL Sacred to the memory of Patrick & Lucy Neill & family. Erected by their affectionate daughters.