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Ecclesiastical Heritage

Kinsalebeg Church

kinsalebeg church & graveyard (prospect hall)

We were delighted in recent weeks to find an excuse to get outdoors when collaborating with the @Historicgraves team to finally survey the old graveyard at Kinsalebeg Church (otherwise know as Prospect Hall) which is the fourth and last remaining graveyard to be surveyed in this parish and it turned up some very interesting finds indeed.

First a little bit of history about the church; Kinsalebeg Church is in the townland of Prospect Hall and it certainly had its origins as a Catholic Church but from the time of Henry VIII up to the start of the 20th century it came under the auspices of the Church of Ireland, hence a church has existed in this location for at least seven hundred years or more. The church has been built and rebuilt a few times during that period culminating in the present ruined church which was built in 1821 and the last service was reported to have taken place there in 1926 (at around the same period that Clashmore C of I also shut it’s doors). The roof was apparently taken off the church in 1928 and local knowledge indicates that it may have been moved to Ardmore.  The oak panelling from the church was removed to Woodbine Hill by the Roch family where it was used to line the walls of the dining room. The graveyard however continued to be used as a burial ground after this period with a number of recorded Catholic burials having been recorded.

The earliest burial record that we know of is that of Elizabeth Lancaster (nee Harris) who was buried on the 8th November 1624 and the latest burial recorded is that of Nora (Nonie) Connors who was buried on the 12th August 2007, but of course many more burials took place over that period of time which have now long since disappeared.

Canon Patrick Power described the church and grounds and the above-mentioned Lancaster Memorial Slab as follows in Vol IV of the Waterford & South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society Journal of 1898:

“The position of this church was parallel with the position of the present small Protestant church, and as usual is on the south side of the latter. Hardly any remains of the ancient church are now traceable. The graveyard is rather extensive and much used. Near the south-east angle of the present church is an interesting inscribed slab, lying flat, and somewhat buried in the soil. The centre of the slab in question is occupied by a blank shield, while round the edge of the stone runs [an inscription in raised Roman capitals]…”

The Ancient Ruined Churches of Co. Waterford, Rev P.Power

There are some very ornate headstones and tomb stones with some fine craftmanship evident in this graveyard, a few of which seem to link to some Youghal business families – all of the burials recorded in the recent survey can be seen in detail on the Historic Graves website. For further detail on the history of Kinsalebeg Church and its associated clerical history you can find out more at kinsalebeg.com. Thanks to Jacinta Kiely for her collaboration and guidance during this survey.

References

1. The Ancient Ruined Churches of Co. Waterford, 1891: Rev P. Power
2. Kinsalebeg.com: Don Lehane (Chapter: Kinsalebeg Church)

Photos courtesy of Historic Graves

Anyone who might have any information about any other burials in this graveyard should contact us via ckheritagegroup@gmail.com or else leave a comment below – we would love to hear from you!

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