Grange Late medieval figure

Human figure pecked by a pair of affronted birds

Christy Cunniffe

Late medieval carving of birds pecking human head
Christy Cunniffe

This interesting example of late medieval carving in Grange graveyard near New Inn, Co. Galway depicts a human figure dressed in a kirtle being pecked on the head by a pair of bird-like beasts. The photograph shows the the right wing of the bird and a pair of beaks pecking the head. Used as a makeshift gravemarker, it likely came from an ornate late medieval doorway or perhaps a chancel arch. High status carving of this type is found in Clontuskert, Clonfert, Kilconnell and a number of other ecclesiastical sites in the Diocese of Clonfert, and can probably be ascribed to the mason Johannes whose signature appears at Portumna Priory and Clontuskert Abbey. Only a small section of Grange church survives intact. However, a large collection of architectural fragments are to be found in the graveyard used as gravemarkers. They provide vital information about the form and type of fenestration originally in the building. A number of sections of door jambs survive. Grange functioned as a grange of Boyle Abbey in Co, Roscommon but was under the control of the native O’ Kellys in the fifteenth century.

This page was added on 07/07/2016.

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