Kinneigh Graveyard Survey

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Download Survey Field Form

For those of you who have relatives or acquaintances buried in Kinneigh Cemetery, and you would like to have details of their grave(s) recorded for posterity, here is the opportunity for you to do so. We in CAHCS (with the generous help of Professor William O’Brien and Nick Hogan of UCC) have digitally mapped Kinneigh graveyard, allowing us to tag and identify each gravestone, thereby facilitating the logging of information specific to each individual grave and those interred within. At this point in time, we need people to come and meet us at Kinneigh in order to point out the grave which is of interest to them. We can then give them a location identification number relative to our map. They can then proceed to fill out a Grave Information Recording Form (downloadable above) and we in turn will enter this information to a database, which will be accessible to the public in the near future.

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Society members will be present at Kinneigh on Sunday 13th July (2:00 to 6:00pm) Tuesday eve. 15th (after graveyard prayers) & Sunday 20th (2:00 to 6:00pm) for the purpose of grave information recording.


Download Survey Field Form

If you would like to learn more about this exciting project, continue reading:


By Coppeen Archaeological Historical and Cultural Society.

Kinneigh Round Tower and graveyard form one of Ireland’s premier heritage sites, albeit lesser known than many others. The original monastery which was located about half a mile west of the tower site was founded in 619 AD by St Mocholmóg. Following the destruction of this 16 acre ecclesiastical settlement by the Danes in 916, the surviving community re-located to Sleenoge, where the present tower stands. Coppeen Archaeological Historical and Cultural Society has been proactive in cultivating and raising awareness of the special status and rich history associated with this wonderful place. While the Cathedral and monastery of old have long since disappeared, the recently restored round tower stands proud and majestic, with two graveyards and a church lying within its shadow. On the southern side, beside the church of St Bartholomew, lies the Church of Ireland graveyard. These (approx 38 grave enclosures) for the most part lie in a symmetrically balanced fashion, neatly kerbed, each with a headstone bearing details of those interred within. It is important to bear in mind that this is a relatively modern graveyard, where most of the burials have taken place during the 20th century. It seems (according to Don Wood) that the wall around this graveyard was built using the stones from the old church (Christ Church) after the present St Bartholomew’s was built in 1856.

In contrast to this carefully planned and well maintained area, when we look to the northern side of the church we are presented with a completely different scene. This 1 acre site (0.996 acres – O.S.) “is covered in a dense concentration of low uninscribed gravemarkers interspersed with a variety of eighteenth to twentieth century headstones of differing types, materials and style” (McQueen 2006 p.13, Conservation and Management Plan for CAHCS) Consequently, today we are presented with a site where centuries of burials have taken place, where any form of orderly layout procedure has long since been abandoned. Also, we must bear in mind that two previous churches stood in this same area. Many elderly people have remarked on seeing as many as eight skulls at a graveside during a burial, indicating that in many cases, multiple burials have taken place in the same graves.

We at C.A.H.C.S. have been mindful of the need to conserve and manage this graveyard in an appropriate manner. In 2006 an archaeological consultant Alison McQueen was commissioned to carry out a survey resulting in a comprehensive conservation and management plan. This was funded by a grant received from the Heritage Council. In 2008, in an effort to list and document each grave in Kinneigh, it was decided to find the most appropriate method to survey and map the graveyard. While seeking advice on this complex and expensive process, Professor William O’Brien of UCC was contacted and to our delight he offered to do the survey for us as part of a college teaching process, free of charge. In March 2008 a team led by Nick Hogan and William O’Brien surveyed the graveyard. In a painstaking manner, using a Total Station Theodolite they mapped the whole area, including both graveyards, the tower and church. Every single item was digitally recorded, including every gravestone.

This information was used to create a map of great accuracy. Nick Hogan created a 5m x 5m grid system over the mapped document with an alphanumerical reference guide. Taking each grid section as an individual plot, CAHCS then numbered each grave / item within each grid plot.

A grave information form has been designed specifically for the task of recording details relating to each grave. Many drafts of this were produced before the final version was agreed. Sections of the map were printed and laminated for the purpose of field work at the site. In a final test of the validity of the information form, society members came together in Kinneigh on Sunday 22nd June 2008 and tested the system, which was proven to work quite effectively.

The next stage of this process is to get people to point out and submit information relating to the graves in Kinneigh. In the past, without a map, it was impossible to accurately show and record the location of a grave. It is our aim to identify and document as many names as possible of those who are interred here. This information will then be entered into a database and placed in the public domain, ensuring that those buried in Kinneigh will be remembered into the future, and their graves can be located and visited. This information is vital to relatives, genealogists and historians.

Click here to read the CAHCS article on Kinneigh Round Tower (This features a 360 degree virtual view of the Tower, Graveyard and Chapel)

Click here to download the Survey Field Form

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