Monasterboice through the Stereoscope

 

 

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The following stereoviews range in age from the 1860s to 1910. Commentary is taken from H.G. Tempest, Gossiping Guide to Dundalk & County Louth, Dundalk, 1983

 

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MONASTERBOICE:

 

Monasterboice, or Mainister Buite, or the Monastery of St. Buite ... is famous for its two wonderful carved crosses and its round tower. St. Buite died in 521, but we do not know the excact year of the foundation of his monastery.

 

St. Colmcille visited the place in 551 and marked out the graveyard, and again twelve years , on his journey to Iona after the battle of Cooldreimne.

 

It had a long history of abbots and coarbs to 1093, but its two most famous men were Flann Mainistreach, Lector, who died in 1056, and Muirdeach, Abbot from 890, who died in 923. Flann was renowned all over Ireland for his learning and teaching. His histories and poems still survive and are "amongst the most valuable remains of early Irish literature". The Annals, in recording his death, describe him as the "last sage of the Gaedhil, both in reading and history".

 

Muirdach Mac Domhnall, a member of the O Domhnaills of the North, raised the great carved cross which still bears his name after 1,000 years. He was vice-Abbot of Armagh and Ard Maor or High Steward of the southern Ui Neill. Half a century after his death the Norsemen reached Monasterboice and seem to have settled an outpost there.

 

We do not know when the round tower was built, but it was burnt in 1097 and with it the priceless library. It is of an early type, built of large stones carefully fitted and passing through a considerable thickness of the wall.

 

The carved crosses are the wonder of the place and are amongst the finest still remaining in Ireland.

 

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 The Great Cross is 27 feet high and ... there is not a square inch of the sides, back or front, that is not elaborately carved......

 

 

This view of the Great Cross dates from the 1860s.

 

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This view of the Great Cross dates from around 1906

 

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... There is a portion of a third and simpler cross in the graveyard with an ornamental boss.

 

This is an unusual view of the North Cross, from the 1860s. It was later placed on a plinth.

 

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.... Muirdeach's Cross is the shorter of the two great crosses, and is 15 feet in height and is the finer of the two. The front and back of the cross is divided into panels, in which are carved in high relief various episodes from the Bible or from the lives of the early saints. The centres of the heads of the crosses bear the Crucifixion and on the corresponding position on the back of Muirdeach's Cross is represented the Judgment Day.

 

 

Very early stereoview of Muirdeach's Cross, probably 1860s, possibly earlier.

 

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Another early view of Muirdeach's Cross, probably 1860s.

 

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This view of Muirdeach's Cross probably dates from the 1880s.

 

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Early view of the Round Tower, Muirdeach's Cross and Church, probably from the 1860s.

 

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This fine view of the Round Tower, Churches and Muirdeach's Cross dates from 1910.

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 935 Genealogy of Gairbhith 976 Genealogy of Cinaeth Mac Croinghille  1285-1932 Drogheda Mayors 1361-1918 Co. Louth High Sheriffs 1586 Camden's Louth 1649-1734 Drogheda Council Book Name Index 1654 The Down Survey Dundalk Barony 1659-1901 Surname Analysis of Haggardstown 1665-1882 Title Deeds of County Louth Index 1689-1927 Regiments based in County Louth 1692-1841 Dundalk Corporate Officers 1734-1758 Drogheda Council Book Folio Name Index   1740 Corn Census of County Louth 1756 Commission of Array 1775 Collon Cess Payers 1775-1810 Assizes 1793 Louth Militia Officers & Men 1796 Flax Growers 1797 The Louth Militia Light Company   1798 Louth Militia Officers & Men 1804 Militia Substitutes 1816 The Murders at Wildgoose Lodge 1822 Freeholders 1824 Freeholders 1830 County Louth Magistrates 1832 Dundalk Voters 1832 Dundalk: J.R. Eastwood Creditors 1833-40 Dundalk Union Ten Pound Valuations 1837 Dundalk Householders 1837 Dundalk Property Valuations 1837 Drogheda Householders   1837 Lewis's Co. Louth 1837 Shareholders in Dundalk Western Railway 1839 Roden Tenants 1842 - The Montgomery Children, Dundalk 1842 Voters 1842 Thackeray's Louth 1848 WIlliam Torrens McCullagh 1846 Dundalk: The Long Panel 1851 Prisons in County Louth 1852 Thom's Directory - Co. Louth 1854 Patriotic Fund 1855 Ardee Convent 1855 Drogheda Poor Relief Fund 1855 The Louth Rifles - Recruits 1856/7 Emigrants 1858 The Wreck of the Mary Stoddard 1864 Map of Dundalk 1865 Voters 1868-1900 Haggardstown Internments Notified to Dundalk Democrat 1886 A Brief History  1890 Tenants' Defence Fund   1890 Dulargy Schools 1890 Louth Parish Church Fund 1890 St. Joseph's Dundalk Subscribers 1891 Bellingham Memorial 1891 Carroll Fund [Dundalk]   1894 Monasterboice 1898 Tullyallen Subscribers 1900 Haggardstown Church Subscribers 1907 County Louth Through the Stereoscope 1908 Dundalk 1914-1918 The Returned Army 1915 Co. Louth Ambulance Fund    1917 Statistics of the County of Louth 1922-24 Civil War Period in Dundalk 1930-40 Newspaper Death Notices Miscellaneous The Annals of County Louth Baronies, Parishes and Townlands Burials Statistical Surveys Dowdallshill Links Monasterboice through the Stereoscope  Co. Louth Population What's New Louth Sources Books of Co. Louth Interest Memorial Inscriptions Name Index to County Louth Inscriptions  1832 Some Co. Louth Antiquities Illustrations on this Web Site The Kingdom of Oriel Contact Me Copyright Notice

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