Friday, 5 February 2010

The Standing Stone: Clonenagh Church and Cross Slabs, Co. Laois

Before getting to the subject of today's post I just want to answer some of the questions that were asked in the comment box concerning Ardristan and other topics. I felt the questions needed some proper thought and the proper space to deal with them that the comment box doesn't provide.

JTS wrote: ‘Has Ardristan been included on any heritage preservation list? If not why not? Does the standing stone have a view on this?’

All archaeological sites in Ireland are protected under the National Monuments Acts of 1930 and 2004. If an owner of an archaeological site wishes to interfere with or carry out work near that site 2 months notification must be given to the relevant Minister and the National Monuments Service will assess if and how this work can be carried out. Unfortunately this doesn’t protect a site from simply falling down which is sadly the case at Ardristan. There are four basic strategies that are employed when dealing with historical sites.

1. Restoration – This is probably the best option even if the real motiv
ation is earning money from tourism. It ensures that work is carried out to make a place safe and stable and we get a fairly accurate glimpse of a place as it once was.

2. Conservation – This makes a place safe and stable with no rebuilding being carried out. It preserves places in their current state for future generations.

3. Ignore the site – This is the most common practice and is exactly what is happening to Ardristan.

4. Demolition – The site is destroyed. Fortunately this costs money so doesn’t happen too often. Road building is mostly to blame for sites being destroyed.

I would like to see more done for sites. We are fortunate to have so much archaeology in Ireland left for us today but it is rapidly disappearing from our landscape. Basic conservation work could stop a lot of this but it is, of course, a costly exercise. Most restoration that is carried out is done to sites in private ownership. For example, there is the trend in Ireland to convert castles into hotels. However tasteless this may appear it does prevent further destruction to the site. I have been told by many sites owners, who are seeking to carry out restoration or conservation work, that it is very hard to get permission to do so because of the amount of ‘red tape’ that has be worked through. In recent years it has become easier to restore and co
nserve sites because of the involvement of the EU who are keen to preserve sites in Ireland for tourism.

I apologise for the lengthy answer.

Random Thinker wrote: ‘Looks like an unspoilt site. Is it just a good came
ra angle or is this really a site that is not under threat from development?’

As far as I am aware there are no plans to develop near Ardristan. It is largely farm land surrounding the site. There are two standing stones to the North of the church and one to the south so I would imagine that developing anywhere in the area would be difficult.

Alice W wrote: ‘Do you take a view on the preservation of these sites and their relevance to the modern inhabitants to them? Clearly there is some ambivalence in the modern attitude to them, possibly informed by increased materialism/secularism/distance from a common rural heritage. At the same time, it doesn't appear that the Irish have embraced such sites even after emancipation from penal oppression. In fact, it would appear that t
here was a flight from associations with oppression from early on in the Roman Catholic revival in 19 cent. Ireland. Any views?’

In regards to the preservation of sites please read the answer I gave to JTS above. I totally agree that there is ambivalence in the modern attitude. Modern materialism may have something to do with this as you suggest. We have gone through such a rapid change in the past 30 years that we may have become too obsessed with being modern and this has come at the expense of our history. I don’t believe secularism has had a negative effect on historical sites because the ambivalent attitude you mentioned is not confined to ecclesiastical sites. Castles, churches, ancient tombs and more modern fortified houses are victim to the same attitude. Secularism has allowed for a plurality of views and attitudes when dealing w
ith historical sites. The lack of a rural heritage amongst communities may be part of the problem as people no longer feel any connection to a site whether it be positive or negative. These places have now just become part of the scenery so to speak. Maybe in time as the memories of oppression fade people will begin to find a new found interest in these sites. Hopefully it will not be too late.

I hope I didn’t spend too long on these questions and that I answered them sufficiently for you. I look forward to your response.

Please enjoy this week’s article which deals with the fascinating site of Clonenagh in Co. Laois.

– On the N7 between Mountrath and Portlaoise. The church is located on one side of the road while the cross slabs are on the other. Parking is easy here. The church is located at OS: S 387 956 and the cross slabs are located at OS: S 389 958.

Description and history – Little remains now of this once important ecclesiastical site. Now divided by the N7 this is all part of the one complex allegedly founded in 548 by St. Fintan. Nothing remains of the original structure which was destroyed in 838 by the Vikings. The site was plundered again in 937 by the King of Cashel and the Danes of Waterford. Legend says that 7 churches have been located at this site in its history with the remains of one still there and archaeological evidence for 2 others. The present remains are of a 16th century church which was later used as a Protestant church and the graveyard is still used. A holy well, now destroyed, was associated with the site as is a holy tree located there. Before the tree collapsed some years ago, the water that collected in the trunk was thought to have healing properties. The tree collapsed due to severe metal poisoning. It was traditional to hammer coins into the tree as a votive offering. Fortunately new branches have started to grow from the remaining stump, but the coins still persist. I would advise that you don’t hammer coins into the tree and pull out any that you can.

As you would expect of an important site there are many stories surrounding the complex. One interesting story is about a Protestant minister, Rev Sandys, who, after appearing drunk in the pulpit was expelled from the Church of Ireland. He, however, convinced his parishioners that he was still the serving minister and began to offer marriages at any time for the price of 1 pound. He didn’t even require witnesses in order to write out a marriage certificate. Eventually, nearby ministers made sure that Sandys was found out and he was sentenced to death which was reduced to a short term of imprisonment. He was forcibly removed from Clonenagh. As a form of revenge on the Church of Ireland he eventually became a Catholic priest.

Two interesting stories involve St Fintan himself. One tale is that St Fintan would quarry the sand for the building of the church late at night from the Downs in Portlaoise. The local people wondered where he got the sand from and one man set to find out. One morning he saw Fintan returning from the Downs with his horse who he was guiding with a stripped holly branch. The man asked Fintan where he got the sand from. Fintan was so angered at this display of mistrust that he turned the horse into stone and threw the holly stick down which grew into a holly tree. The location of this stone horse is rumoured to be between Clonenagh and Ballyfin but locals who know of its location will not divulge its location to others.

The second tale is that one day Fintan was returning from the Downs once again with his cart full of sand and met a woman who was building a house. She asked for some sand but Fintan refused saying he needed it for his church. She asked if he would give a thimbleful to her and he agreed and when the thimble was full all the sand was gone.

Onto the church and cross-slabs...

Church – Dating to the 16th century, little now remains of this sandstone and limestone building. It is roughly 9m in length and 6.5m wide. Around the arches there are some fine examples of hammer-dressed limestone. In the surrounding churchyard is a stone carved with a human face and another with a skull and crossbones. I was unable to locate these two stones because of the long grass.

Cross Slabs – These recently discovered stones are a wonderful sight and give you a glimpse into the art of the early church in Ireland. These stones date to the 6 and 7th centuries and have a variety of decoration on them. On some stones there are some more modern designs carved onto the early stones and these designs date to the 17th century. These stones are rare in Laois and are important for the county. However, there are fast eroding and when compared to photographs taken only 15 years ago the amount of erosion is shocking. As a matter of conservation they need to be removed to the safety of a museum. The graveyard in which they are kept is poorly maintained and the stones are surrounded with rubbish that had been thrown in by people stopping in the car park. These stones will not be around much longer unless conservation work is carried out.

Difficulty – These two sites are easy to get to and are located directly on the N7. Be careful of the traffic as cars race around this area. The graveyards are poorly maintained and there are many low grave markers that can be easily tripped upon.

This post appeared originally on 'The Standing Stone' and can be found here.

This is the 16th century church. It is in a poor condition with a lot of rubble inside.

This window is in the East end of the church. It was added in the 17th century and is a nice example of a standard Gothic revival window in Ireland. We have little genuine Gothic architecture in Ireland.

The pictures do not do these slabs justice.

This is what remains of the holy tree after years of poisoning by coins.


Anonymous said...

The church in the pictures looks idea for an outdoor Mass. Is Mass ever said in it now? Is there any visible evidence of the ancient monastic city?

Anonymous said...

If restoration in the best option, how successful do you think the restoration projects (Ballintubber, Graiguenamanagh, Holy Cross) have been?

Can they be compared with 'restorations' like St. Canice's, Kilkenny, and the two Cathedrals of Dublin?

Would you like to see such sites as Cashel restored?


Bagenal Harvey said...

I think this site may actually be in the Diocese of Leighlin technically but its a small point.

Do you know if the site is commemorated in any way? St. Fintan is a major figure in the area and his monastery was the spring board for a large slice of scholarship.

You're doing a great job in bringing these sites to greater prominence. I hope St. Conleth's will start organising Masses in the spirit of the Mass Rocks in the various sites that are covered in your series. We need to do something to reclaim our heritage.

Anonymous said...

Most interesting in this post is the relatively layered nature of the site when compared with Ardristan, by which I mean the various ages and streams that have left their mark upon the place early monastic/early modern christian/later reformed/modern popular and finally today's tourist and student of history, heritage and architecture.

Can you give us your view on the layered and possibly contradictory nature of many Irish sites?

Is there any evidence of the feminine idiom in this site? It seems to be an exclusively masculine site without any reference even to the virgin/mother as would have been found in medieval sites, especially cistercian monasteries, although this can often be a purely nominal reference.

Alice W.

JTS said...

Are there practical measures that could be taken to preserve the stones? For example, is there something that could be sprayed on them or placed over them to save them from rain damage?

Anonymous said...

Another great post! Well done standing stone!

Semper Eadem said...

It would have been a very courageous thing for Rev Sandys to do to become a Catholic during that period. I think that there is more to the story than just drunkenness.

Ferroequinologist said...

It would be really good to have a label on the pictures. For example there are pictures of what I guess is the 16th Cent. church. Is the stonework of the window original or was it added later? I would be interested in knowing if these sites remained in use whether Catholic or Anglican for longer than the sites were intact.

This is a very interesting series.

The Standing Stone said...

Thank you again for the kind comments. I am so pleased that my small efforts and contributions have been well received. I am equally as thrilled by all the questions. History, to me is all about asking questions and engaging in discussion. I’ll just answer a few here:

I am not aware of any mass being said at the site but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. It is entirely possible as the graveyard is still in use. Bagenal Harvey asked if St. Fintan is still commemorated here. Again I must apologise in that I do not know. St. Fintan is a name that occurs again and again in Laois and certainly was a prominent figure that has had a lasting impact on the county. I will keep my ears open and try to find out for you.

JTS: In regard to restoration projects I consider them the best option because it offers opportunity to preserve the building for centuries to come. Conservation is equally as good but it merely freezes the site in its present condition. Restoration offers us a glimpse of what was, so to speak. However, there is a down side to restoration and that is that the motive is often money making. To take the ancient monuments of Newgrange and Knowth as examples, Newgrange was restored over time and done correctly. Once it became apparent how much money could be made Knowth was hastily restored. The result is that it was not done properly and concrete platforms which support the mounds are running down onto the highly decorated kerb stones and eroding them at a fast pace. To undo this would be a massive undertaking and we are risk of losing the stones because of out haste to restore. Restoration is only the best option when the time and effort is put in to ensure that it is done correctly. The restorations of Ballintubber and Duiske Abbey at Graiguenamanagh (I’m not familiar with Holy Cross) were very well carried out. Their motivation was not profit however. Their restoration was a good idea in my opinion because they were still used sites. There was a continuity there that other sites lack. Cashel for example may not be the best target for a restoration project because there is no real continuity there in use. Cashel is also very well conserved so there is no need beyond curiosity and profit. The Cathedrals at Kilkenny and Dublin are similar to the smaller sites of Ballintubber and Duiske in that they never really fell out of use. The ‘restorations’ of Kilkenny and Dublin are more like maintenance projects than restoration works in my mind.

In regard to saving the slabs at this site I would suggest they get moved to a museum or housed in a local church. They are surrounded by litter as the parking area next to the site is used by passers-by on the N7 as a stopping point. Eventually they are likely to be damaged. The easiest option is to move them.

Alice W: This is certainly a layered site. Over the centuries many churches have come and gone here. After the discovery of the cross slabs I would be interested to see a full and in depth archaeological excavation carried out here as I would be sure that it would yield some interesting finds. Alas...not everywhere can be excavated. I had a look at my sources for this site and really couldn’t find any references to Mary. It would appear that this is a male dominated site. But, as you know, this is nothing unusual.

Ferroequinologist: My apologies for not labelling the photographs better. I will go back and label them and make sure all future photos are labelled correctly.

Quo Vadis said...

Dear Standing Stone,

I would like to make a few comments as an archaeologist who specialises in medieval archaeology.

I disagree about restoration as there are theoretical and methodological problems, especially the impression that it gives. Often the ‘glimpse’ is what the restorer thought it was, or the ideology which drives the agency responsible.

Newgrange is good case. The reconstruction (not restoration in my view), widely criticized, especially the white quartzite stones and cobbles, fixed into a near-vertical steel-reinforced concrete wall surrounding the entrance of the mound. This is clearly not accurate. There is a question of using modern technology to achieve an effect, not possible at the time and evidence suggests the stones should in-fact be laid as they have Knowth, on the ground as a type of ‘court-yard’, though there are other issues with that site. Therefore what is restored? To which period? Based on whose theories?

Why ignore later medieval archaeology at Newgrange – it was a Cistercian grange of Mellifont. This has arguably been destroyed in favour of what is now presented in that landscape. These mounds and landscapes had multiple uses over time. Which should we destroy?

We must be careful of turning heritage into some kind of ‘Disneyland’ attached to specific ideals; the goal should be to educate.

Places like Holy Cross or Duiske are also problematic. While they may be successful as places of worship once more, they are not true to their later medieval use or appearance.

Duiske illustrates this point. There is no ribbed vaulting restored/reconstructed, which was impressive based on the remains. It is certainly not decorated like it was for a very large wealthy house of Cistercians. Which period do we focus on? Duiske is now a modern Novus Ordo oriented parish church. It is not a restoration of a medieval church, of any type. All these buildings share the impression of stripped-out shells. Does this give a glimpse of the medieval church in Ireland or anywhere in Europe? This does not mean the work should not have been done; let us just not pretend that it shows what it was like, even the impression of space is not correct due to the absence of vaulting, quire, screens, ect.

While you argue that conservation ‘freezes the site’ this is what ‘restoration’ of any kind will do. In fact it is worse at this, as it can obscure the other phases of the sites use/construction in favour of one interpretation/period.

To often (this a fault of the history and structures within the Department of Heritage/OPW) the emphasis has been, and still is, on standing architectural remains. The people in the Department are mostly architects who are responsible for this. The wider archaeology and landscape is ignored in favour of a ‘site’ specific approach.

Continuity at ecclesiastical sites is a huge question. Many sites were re-used after a period of abandonment, especially in the later/high middle ages. We know very little about most sites and probably never will either. Very little has been researched or published on medieval parish churches. Almost nothing on the wider archaeology of monastic estates. The emphasis is very much on the early medieval, with hagiography often being confused with the later history of these sites. The continued use of the remains as burial grounds (laudable from a practising Catholic perspective), is disastrous archaeologically. The straitgraphy is badly disturbed if not totally destroyed. When one looks at the standing remains, the buildings often show extensive rebuilding at various points through the later middle ages till the Cromwellian period, when many were destroyed or abandoned.

Alice W, all Cistercian Houses are dedicated to Our Lady, having a local name or affiliation with another saint, as She is the patroness of the Order. There was a similar practice with the houses of Augustinian Canons and Premonstratensians; seems to have been a common practice of the so-called ‘reformed’ Orders of the 12th C.

Jim'll Fix It! said...

I have to agree with Quo Vadis about the 'restoration' of places like Holy Cross Abbey. It is effectively only a re-roofing exercise. The restorations of Kildare Cathedral and Christchurch in Dublin were no more faithful to the originals. They were obviously influenced by Victorian Disney Gothic. Duiske Abbey may have been nearer to the liturgical sense of the medieval in that it was restored before Vatican II but the post-Vatican II sterility is shocking in both. We can be grateful that the protestants held on to what they did or these would also have been ruined by modernists.

Quo Vadis what do you think of the recent Clonmacnoise controversy?

Standing Stone you're doing a great job on these posts. I really like this series and your blog.

The Standing Stone said...

Hi Quo Vadis,

Thank you for your constructive criticism. It is great to have an opinion from a professional as sounds like you should be writing these articles. My archaeological training at Trinity College Dublin was in classics and biblical archaeology so I am still getting use to the pit-falls of Irish archaeology. The reason why I said that restoration/reconstruction (I'm using the terms, maybe unwisely, interchangeably) is the best option is because of the preservation of the remains. I agree with your comments about which phase of use do restore to. Maybe in those options conservation is the best option. I, in no way, meant to appear as if I wanted to see every site restored. As you pointed out at Newgrange, it was controversial, and somewhat Disneyland-ish. I would not desire this for every site. I do quite like Newgrange and we can certainly learn from the reconstruction here. Personally I don’t mind the use of modern technology at these sites if it is unavoidable. I agree with your comments about the destruction of sites at Newgrange. I hate to see this happen. Similar things have happened across the classical world where later medieval sites have been ignored in favour of the earlier classical ruins. Later ones are even dismantled when they are considered too near the ancient site.

When it comes places like Duiske where there has, for the most part, been a continuity of use maybe we should look on the reconstruction/restoration as a new phase of development at the site which will one day become part of the history of the site just like any other phase of development. I think that historians make a mistake of viewing us as separate to history and that these sites are no longer active in history. We are the product of these places and sometimes I believe it perfectly acceptable to continue to develop them when they still have meaning.

I found your points about site specific restoration very interesting and perfectly valid. I would like to see places such as Lough Gur treated as a landscape of archaeology as opposed to a collection of individual sites. One thing I try to emphasise on my own site is that archaeological remains should not be treated in a vacuum but are always part of a larger archaeological landscape. Places are divided by time, not space.

Thank you for your input and I hope you are enjoying my series of articles even if they are somewhat amateur.

Shandon Belle said...

I was thinking of this post down in Ballyvourney today. The ruined church (probably fairly recent in terms of centuries) has been left open to the elements with a slightly artificial gravelled floor. Beside it is the graveyard, still very much in use, and just across from all this, as you enter the site, is the fairly modern shrine area. Maybe I'm breaking in on a very interesting discussion but I wonder what you think of Ballyvourney.

Anonymous said...

Quo V and Standing S,

I take your point on restoration - and the destruction that must needs follow of all that is post-period - but could you give us some idea of your views of preservation?

The Disnification as one might call it, of heritage sites (the heritage industry, perhaps) is all too often preservation (if that) of the specific site while placing a car/coach park in its immediate vicinity as well as the de rigeur interpretative centre (because we can't be left to interpret for ourselves). Your views would be of interest.

Could I tender a suggestion to the moderators that a series by Quo Vadis, giving a critical assessment of the archaeology of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, would be valuable, interesting and an excellent complement to the posts of Standing Stone.


Quo Vadis said...

Dear Standing Stone,

Not sure I could write the articles – I get lost in the details! Sometimes it is better to have ‘an outsiders’ view of these places and things. You are doing a fine job! I focus again on Duiske, but I think the ideas apply equally to other places.

Jim’ll Fix It – I am not sure why you say that Duiske may be closer to the liturgical sense? One must remember it was a Cistercian Abbey – not a parish church. The monks quire is missing, the lay brother quire is missing, the screens are missing, the altars (there would have been more than just a high altar, with side chapels) are missing… the list goes on. The church is also ‘disconnected’, as the rest of monastic precinct is now destroyed and buried beneath the post-medieval town. Monasteries were not just about the church. The cloister and its associated buildings were very important ritually too, and the whole precinct, if not the whole estate, was regarded as the monastery.

As to decoration? I would not agree with the idea that Cistercian churches were some kind of 12th C iconoclast spaces. The prohibition in the early statutes was on certain types of decoration, not all decoration. This also changed between the date the Abbey would have been constructed at the start of the 13thC and the dissolution.

Quo Vadis said...

Standing Stone – you mention a continuation of use at Duiske. Again I am not sure what you mean. The fact that there was a ‘penal’ chapel in or near the ruins, or that it may have been used as a protestant place of worship is a kind of continuity, but again it was an Abbey church, not a parish church, and had not been built or designed as such. The fact that at the dissolution the inquisitors listed some of these buildings as being parish churches should not be taken at face value. There was a complex process of rights being protected, incomes and property claims being made. By saying a church was ‘parochial’ could mean, amongst other things, that the new owner could claim tithes. While Duiske (by the time of dissolution) had an interest in parishes, I cannot recall there being any evidence that the Abbey church was parochial. I do not have the charters with me to check that as I am at home. Archaeologically identifying a parish church is also not easy; one would need to find a baptismal font for example.

I do agree with the idea of a ‘new phase’ in development and use, though we must be aware of the messages we send in appropriating places. We must be very aware of the tendency to make judgments on the past based on our current values and ideals.

Quo Vadis said...

Ideas of ‘place’, ‘space’, ‘territory’ and ‘time’ are of course problematic when we speak of these locations. We see these concepts in a different way, with our post-Newtonian understating of these terms. Landscape too – a completely modern construct, being the product of Dutch /Flemish 17th C art and thought. The word itself is a Dutch word taken into the English language. Does this mean we shouldn’t do as you suggest – of course not. As Catholics we have a huge advantage (or should have) if we know our traditional ritual (which includes the liturgy), especially that which pre-dates Trent. It is one means of understanding what people thought and then how they acted/interacted in these places – buildings and wider environment. It was not just a ‘backdrop’, a passive setting, but an environment which constantly demonstrated and manifested the Creator.

I will avoid the Cathedral discussion. While the Victorians arguably tried to capture a ‘spirit’ of the medieval too, the damage that was done is so lamentable. Numerous walls stripped of medieval plaster to expose the stone – uggghhh!

Quo Vadis said...

As to the question of Clonmacnoise – again the whole concept of monastic towns/cities is best left alone. It is perhaps a question of definitions and politics all over again, let alone making documents ‘fit’ archaeology and standing remains. As to the question of World Heritage status, I think anything that pushes the local community out of something is a bad idea. Again we must ask what is the purpose of doing this? I also question the focus on the early medieval again and the ‘spin’ put on things. As Standing Stone says – we are a part of history too. It didn’t end at some point in the past – though it will yet! We are a part of it too. There is always room for sensible compromise – in medio stat virtus! I am sure money is involved.

Quis ut Deus said...

This discussion is way about my paygrade but it reads great! Keep it coming.

The Standing Stone said...

I should probably explain why I'm open to restoration projects. My view has become more and more simplistic in recent years as I see more and more sites. Again and again I come across sites like Ardristan that are crumbling into the ground and I would rather see a poor restoration or conservation project being undertaken than see it crumble into the ground. Even if it becomes something it wasn't it is still there in some form rather than just becoming a forgotten about pile of stones that people just pass by and ignore. As you are aware it is very hard to undertake these projects in Ireland. One castle restorer I spoke to told me that it took her 9 years to do 1 years work on a castle because of all the bureaucracy and politics that has to be worked through.

Obviously we cannot save every building from the inevitable fate of destruction. There is simply too much. Maybe there should be more low level conservation at larger array of sites where they are made stable and safe to prevent further destruction while more important sites should be invested in more thoroughly to ensure they are conserved. Maybe restoration projects should be saved for sites where more is known about their original 'look' and where sites have not had multiple phases of occupation and rebuilding. Then the issue of 'what phase to restore' can be worked around.

What about digital restoration of site? We live in a digital age and we are more than capable of producing good quality digital images of what sites may have been like without having to undertake a potentially disastrous restoration project. Obviously it is not like seeing the 'real' restored thing but it would be less controversial.

Recorder said...

Standing Stone Rocks! This is a really stupid request because your posts are already so full of information but is there any way that you could mock up a link to a google map showing the location of these sites. I'd like to take the family sometime but I'm not sure I could find them because I'm not that familiar with those parts of the country.

The Standing Stone said...

Recorder - Believe it or not this is something I have been trying to do for a long time now but I'm still having problems with it. I hope to have maps for all sites eventually and hopefully an application that is compatible with Google Earth. I provide Ordinance Survey co-ordinates to all sites and most place of antiquity are marked on the current edition. Until I can get that sorted I would recommend getting the OS maps. They are only cheap, about 7 or 8 euro per map. Clonenagh is located on map 54 and is very easy to find. You can pick up those maps in any half decent book store. All sites I visit now I also take a GPS reading which makes getting there easier if you have a GPS.

Anonymous said...

I read all comments with great interest. What I haven't yet discerned is a philosophy of archaeology, by which I mean, is there any appropriate way, in your view, to treat the physical evidence of the past, or any way of treating it that is preferable, howbeit with its own set of problems.

Thus far, I have the impression that neither restoration nor conservation is ideal but, then, neither is ignoring or demolishing the site. Is there a better way?


Cousin Vinnie said...

You guys do good work! God's blessings on you!

Random Thinker said...

Thank you for these beautiful posts. I hope you will do something on Offaly too!

Jennie said...

Just wondering where the stones are in relation to the Church. Are they grave stones? What is there function?