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Fuerty Cross Slab
 

County

Roscommon

Coordinates

N 53° 36' 36.84"   W 008° 16' 08.82"

Nearest town

Roscommon

Grid Ref.

M 82191 62300

Map No.

40

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

65

Date of visit

Friday 7 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The old church with the belfry seen from the west-northwest.


On the south-southwest (285°) wall of the belfry of the old and ruinous Church of Ireland church in Fuerty, southwest from Roscommon on the R366, there are two fragments of 8th century grave slabs.

Fuerty was visited by St. Patrick who appointed a deacon named Justus to establish a monastery here. Justus baptized St. Ciaran who then founded Clonmacnoise.

The slabs are set into the wall at about 1.10 metres from the ground.
The one on the left measures about 68 centimetres of width and 89 centimetres of height. It carries the incision of a ringed cross with enlarged terminals and base, like one of the cross slabs seen inside St. Caimin's Church on Inis Cealtra, and with a lozenge frame joining all terminals. Unfortunately the upper part is missing. On the right side of the cross a vertical incision reads "OR AN MOR", meaning "Pray for many".
The one on the right is 72 centimetres wide and 93 centimetres high. It depicts a ringed Latin cross with a fish under its right arm. The design of this cross was later used to produce the Cross of Cong in the 12th century. Vertically on the left of the cross is the inscription that reads "OR AR ANMAIN AIDACAIN", meaning "Pray for Abbot Ardeachan", who apparently was Abbot at Clonmacnoise, though his name does not appear in any annals.

The church on the same site dates to the 17th century and is plain and roofless, with all windows but the east one walled up. The bell tower was added in 1790. The church was destroyed by a fire in 1870.

What is interesting is the mausoleum to the northeast of the ruins. The opening on the east side allows to have a look inside, with what they seem two burials on either sides under a vaulted ceiling.


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