Tedavnet Graveyard

Map Reference: H641391 (2641, 3391)

St Davnet founded a monastery in Co Monaghan in the 6th century. Her name has sometimes been Latinised as Dympna and she has been confused with Dympna of Gheel in Flanders, who is patroness of the insane. She is also associated with Achill Island. Her crozier, or Buchall Damhnait, is preserved in the National Museum in Dublin and was used for testing the truth of oaths. Those who swore a false oath on the relic would have their mouth turned awry and be marked for life as a liar. There are no church remains in the graveyard at Tedavnet but there is a very fine collection of 18th century gravestones. Most of these have inscriptions with no artwork but there are two designs with several examples of each. The first is the skull-and-crossbones design which is found at many graveyards in Co Monaghan and in the Upper Erne Valley. On one side of the stone is a skull-and-crossbones and other symbols of mortality, including the bell, the coffin and the hour-glass. On the other side is the inscription. The stones often have a circular upper portion with small projections at the top and sides. This gives the appearance of a small, unpierced, ring-headed cross.

Examples of these stones can be found at Clones, Drumsnat, Galloon and Aghalurcher. The other design is more-or-less rectangular with a curvilinear top. On one side is the inscription within a cetral panel. Above this is a small tree flanked by two small angels. Below these are two large winged heads. On either side of the inscription panel is a border decorated with birds holding flowers in their beaks. The inscription on this stone reads: This stone is ericted James Owen Peter McEnally also the body of Daniel McEnally and also the body of Arthur McEnally who departed this life June 4 1773(?) aged (?)

On the other face of the stone is a coats-of-arms which covers most of the upper half of the stone. Below it is a large tree flanked by two figures, which may be a representation of the Fall of Man.

Along the narrow edges of the stone are small carvings of robed figures. In some cases these carvings extend over the top edge of the stone. Similar stones are found at Donagh, Clones, Clonfeacle and Clogher.

There are two other stones worthy of note.

One has a very fine carving of a plough and the other shows a shoe, a glove and some leather-worker's tool.

The inscriptions on these stones have not been recorded.

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