White Island Church

Map Reference: H175600 (2175, 3600)

This is situated on White Island , Castle Archdale Bay, Lower Lough Erne.The small ruined church dates from about the end of the 12th century and lies within the large earthwork of a pre-Norman monastery. The main feature of the church is the late Romanesque doorway. The figures set up along the N wall may belong to an earlier church. It is possible that the larger figures were used to support timbers. One of the figures holds a crosier and a bell. Another figure holds two small animals. This has been interpreted as Christ holding two griffins, which symbolise His dual nature. There is a figure holding a short sword and a small round shield. The cloak is held by a penannular brooch. The figure represents Christ in warrior attire. One of the smaller stones has a sheila-na-gig which is naked except for a short cape covering the upper half of the body. Such exhibitionist figures are often found associated with early Christian sites. They are considered by some to be pre-Christian carvings but there is no conclusive evidence for this.

For details of other Decorated Romanesque Doorways & Arches click on the links below

Kilmore Cathedral, Co Cavan Dysert O’Dea, Co Clare Killaloe Cathedral, Co Clare Annaghdown Cathedral, Co Galway Clonfert, Co Galway Tuam Cathedral, Co Galway Aghadoe, Co Kerry Ardfert Cathedral, Co Kerry Kilmalkedar, Co Kerry Castledermott, Co Kildare Kildare Cathedral, Co Kildare Freshford, Co Kilkenny Ullard, Co Kilkenny Killeshin, Co Laois Timahoe, Co Laois The Nun's Church, Clonmacnois, Co Offaly Rahan, Co Offaly Cashel, Co Tipperary Donaghmore, Co Tipperary Kilcash, Co Tipperary Monaincha, Co Tipperary Roscrea, Co Tipperary St Saviour’s Priory, Glendalough, Co Wicklow

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