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Our blog features news and stories on the conservation of St James's Graveyard. You will learn about new findings and discoveries from the site, the teams methods and analysis in the conservation process, and more about who is buried there, why graveyards are sites of significance and what iconography is found on the tombstones and monuments. 

View 3D Models of Memorials '384' and '391'

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

In June 2017 Carrig Conservation along with Dublin City Council Survey and Mapping Division undertook a condition survey and measured survey for two Monuments that were at risk in the graveyard. These memorials are labelled as Memorials ‘384’ and ‘391’.


There are no surviving inscriptions to both memorials '384' and '391' and no information as to the names of the people commemorated has been uncovered to date.


In the survey report, both memorials 384 and 391 showed a loss of elements to the original memorials, including both decorative and structural masonry elements. This loss occurred to the weakening of masonry joints from weather and vegetation, as well as to possible theft of some of the dressed stone elements over time.


The two memorials were vulnerable to a further loss of masonry and to possible collapse of the remaining dressed stone elements. The survey established a methodology in line with conservation good practice to make the memorials safe, to stabilise them, and to prevent further loss of masonry.


Two 3D models were created of these memorials for the survey. These can be viewed at the links below.


Memorial 384


Memorial 384 has no surviving inscription evident, other than a mason’s mark to one of the sandstone blocks. No details are known currently regarding the names of those commemorated by the memorial nor the date at which the memorial was constructed. Based on its style, form, and materials, a late nineteenth century date is suggested for the memorial.


It appears that the south elevation may have been the principal face of the memorial given that the surviving dressed elements to the podium are to the southern side of the memorial and that the pedestal appears to have been built up in rubble masonry to the other sides. This rubble masonry would originally have been concealed, either with a render finish or further dressed stone elements. This south-facing configuration is unusual as most grave markers are oriented to face east. The vault below however lies on an east-west axis which may go some way to resolving this anomaly, or indeed further information regarding the original configuration may come to light and suggest reassessment.


A memorial with a vault might be used for multiple related burials over time but in this case there is no clear access to the vault for later interments which suggests that it may have been intended for a single burial event.


Memorial 391

Memorial 391 has no surviving inscription evident, the skyward surface of the limestone slab, where an inscription might be expected to be found, has suffered loss of material through scaling. No details are known at present regarding the names of those commemorated by the memorial nor the date at which the memorial was constructed.


The fact that the chamber has a constructed entrance may suggest that it was intended to serve as access for multiple burials over a period of time in a family vault. At least five skulls were noted amongst the bones within the chamber. The presence of multiple skulls would also seem to support the suggestion that the memorial was used for multiple burials in a family vault. (It is also possible that skeletal remains that have worked their way to the surface elsewhere in the graveyard may have been placed in the chamber at a later date.)


Based on its style, form and materials, the construction of the memorial likely dates to the mid-eighteenth century. The squat form of the surviving dressed stone elements is unusual, it may be that the memorial was formerly a more standard chest tomb, and that the side panels have been robbed out or otherwise lost, leaving it with this unusual squat form.





ADDRESS

St James's Graveyard

James's Street

Ushers

Dublin 8

 

info@stjamesgraveyard.ie

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