St. John's Graveyard - Nobber Grave Slab




N 53° 49' 16.92"   W 006° 44' 55.26"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

N 82391 86485

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Saturday 25 May 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

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One of the many old grave markers in the St. John's graveyard in Nobber. This one has a hole through it.

On the southeast side of the village of Nobber is a large old graveyard, dedicated to St. John, with the remains of a church tower, a more recent church and many old grave stones, among them there are some of outstanding beauty.

The most interesting item in the graveyard is, perhaps, the effigial tomb erected in 1619 within the old and now disappeared church. It is now set in an upright position within a wall in the northeast side of the graveyard, facing north-northwest. The slab measures about 2.15 metres of height and about 95 centimetres of width, and depicts a knight in his full armour. He was Gerald Cruise. His hands are joined on her chest, his feet both pointing to the right of the viewer. His sword lies on his right side. On either sides of his head there are the coat of arms of the Plunket and Cruise families. All around the effigy runs a lengthy inscription which reads "HERE LIETH THE BODY / OF GERRALD CRVYS OF THE BRITTAS AND MARGARET PLVNKE / T HIS WIF WHICH GERRALD / DID BVYLD THIS MONVMENT AND IS HEYRE LINYALLY DECE / NDED FROM SR MAURICE CR / VYS WHOE DYED THE FYRST YEARE OF KYNG HENRY / THE THYRD IN ANNO / DOMINI 1216 TO WHOSE SOVLES GOD GRANT HIS / MERCY AMEN 1619x". The slab was found broken into ten fragments, the smaller ones around the knight's head, and was repaired, according the inscription on the coping stones, in 1781.
The Cruises were an Anglo-Norman dynasty arrived in Ireland at the end of the 12th century and had a great influence and importance in the Nobber area. The Cruicetown Church is witness of this.

Behind the wall with the effigy, towards the south, on the ground there are two large effigy slabs.
One is the memorial slab for Edward Balfe. The Balfes were a Norman family. It depicts a male figure on the left and female figure on the right. The slab is richly decorated with other motifs, but the thick moss that was covering the slab on the day of our visit made it impossible to see more.
The other slab shows a figure in a cloak, and with his hands joined on his chest. It is said this is the tomb of Murtagh Carolan, a local parish priest.

At the entrance of the graveyard is a cross base in the shape of a truncated cone with the mortice filled with concrete. The cross base is about 60 centimetres high.

There are other small stone crosses. Some are plain, others have simple motifs of incised crosses on one or both faces.

There are two millstones used as grave markers. Other markers have been made with architectural elements of the previous church.

There also more recent grave markers, a couple of them very interesting.

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