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Project Description

This project focuses on the long-forgotten St. Mary's Church in Kilkenny City centre graveyard which has medieval origins and some of Ireland's finest stone sculpture. The project will allow the ancestors of over 500 families to find their relatives’ burial locations and discover the words and symbols carved in memoriam dating from the 13th to the 20th century. The stone carvings have historic and family tree significance not to mention the  poignant versus that pass through the ages including; “… a dutiful daughter, an affectionate sister and a sincere friend” and “… a father whose affliction is deeps as could be..”. The project will carry out a complete inventory of burial monuments, update the monument locations, create an online, searchable database, install an indexed map of family monuments in the graveyard, add to the audio guide content and establish a seasonal guided tour of the graveyard.

Listen to Grace Fegan, Curator Kilkenny Civil Trust

The burial plots include the following Kilkenny family names:

Allius, Anderson, Andrews, Archdeacon, Archer, Armstrong, Bailey, Baker, Balanchvil, Barron, Barry, Baskerville, Baxter, Belfow, Belingham, Bermingham, Bettesworth, Birch, Bissets, Blake, Bleake, Blundal, Blunt, Booth, Bourke, Boyd, Brackin, Bradley, Branigan, Brehon, Brew, Brindley, Brophy, Browne, Bryan, Buchanan, Budds, Butler, Carden, Carroll, Carson, Chamberlain, Clegg, Clindinn, Coak, Cody, Cokrell, Colclough, Cole, Colles, Collins, Colton, Conneill, Cooke, Coole, Cordwinder, Coughlin, Courson, Couse, Cranis, Creagh, Creighton, Crispe, Cuthbert, Dalton, Dalzell, Dart, Davis, de Armayl, Dea, Delahyde, Delany, Denn, Despard, Dobbin, D'oly, Downer, Duke, Dunlope, Dunn, Dunnning, Dunphy, Eakins, Eaton, Edmonds, Elliot, Ellis, Elsmere, Enery, Evans, Eyre, Fagan, Fegan, Fennelly, Fielding, Finn, Fitz Shee, Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Fitzsimons, Fitzwilliam, Flenn, Flood, Foden, Fogarty, Forristal, Freeman, Furniss, Gant, Gardiner, Garnett, Garvey, Gee, Gibbon, Gidlow, Goer, Goldfrap, Gore, Grace, Graham, Grant, Gray, Green, Gregg, Gregory, Grey, Grubb, Grundy, Guilfoyle, Hackett, Hairs, Hamilton, Hart, Hartford, Harty, Hatton, Hawlishaw, Haydockit, Heaf, Healy, Hearn, Hely, Hennessy, Hennings, Holden, Hort, Howis, Hubbard, Hughes, Hutton, Irwin, Jack, Johnston, Jones, Joyce, Kavanagh, Kavinagh, Kearn, Kearney, Keating, Kehoe, Kelley, Kelly, Kingsmill, Kirwan, Knaresborough, Kowragh, La Barte, La Barthe, Lackey, Laffan, Landsley, Langton, Larkan, Lawless, Leigh, Lewis, Lloyd, Lougheed, Lower, Lowry, Luck, Lyon, Mac Mahon, Mac Nish, Mackin, Madden, Magin, Maher, Mandevil, Maude, Maxwell, McCarthy, McCreery, McDermott, McDonnel, McGowan, McGrath, McKean, Reynolds, Ridding, Robertson, Robinson, Roe, Roothe, Rothe, Rowley, Ryan, Samson, Scanlon, Scott, Scully, Searnke, Semple, Sessions, Shearman, Shee, Sherlock, Shiels, Simpson, Sinnott, Stafford, Steele, Stephens, Stevenson, Still, Strangeways, Stuart, Sweeney, Sweeny, Swettenham, Switsir, Tallis, Thackery, Tucker, Unsworth, Vande, Vernon, Wade, Wall, Walsh, Walshe, Wandesford, Waring, Warren, Waton, Watson, Watters, Way, McKenzie, McMurray, Mellon, Mersh, Millington, Mofson, Molloy, Montgomery, Morres, Morris, Morrison, Morrow, Munro, Murphy, Murray , Murry, Nash, Newland, Nolan, Nunn, O'Brien, O'Neill, Ormonde, Ormsby, Owen, Parker, Pembroke, Percival, Perran, Phelan, Pidgeon, Pilkington, Potter, Power, Poyntz, Pratt, Preston, Prettejohn, Provin, Purdon, Purdue, Puxley, Quigley, Quinn, Ragget, Ratican, Read, Reade, Reed, Reily, Weldon, Welsh, Westerman, Whitcroft, Whitworth, Wilkinson, Williams, Woodcock, Woodlocke, Wybault, Young, Younge.

Detailed Overview of the Costs

Completion of inventory:  The original inventory was undertaken in 2004; at that time there were sections of the graveyard that were overgrown, some of the vaults were inaccessible and some monuments were as yet undiscovered. Between 2013 and 2016 building conservation experts cleared brambles, briars and ivy from large sections of the graveyard and the church itself and archaeologists undertook excavations, uncovering previously unknown monuments. The newly discovered monuments and some that were in jeopardy outside were brought inside the building, forming exhibitions in what has become the Medieval Mile Museum. Completing the inventory will involve the scientific recording of these 'new' monuments - their shape, inscriptions, symbols, names and dates. The results will be incorporated into the original inventory, forming a complete account of the burial monuments within this site of national significance.

Completion of CAD drawings: The original inventory includes a detailed map of the site, with the locations of all recorded burial monuments. Following the completion of the inventory, detailed above, this map will be finished with the updated locations of all monuments. This will allow family members and scholars physically locate the monuments on site and will allow detailed study of the development of the graveyard over the centuries it was in use as a place of burial.

Graphic design of panels: What is vital in this project is to interpret the graveyard for lay visitors to the site. With well-designed interpretive panels we will be able to facilitate a full understanding for visitors of the site in which they are standing, allowing them to orientate themselves and explore the site further.

Design of pamphlet: Having been welcoming visitors to the Medieval Mile Museum for over 3 years now, we know there are a number of people who have a need for more detailed information on the monuments within the graveyard. Producing a pamphlet will allow us to 'layer' information for our visitors - preventing casual visitors from feeling overwhelmed and marginalised while providing more information for those who would like to do a 'deep dive'.

Production of panels: Manufacture and printing of high quality, weather-proof signs that will contain the interpretation referred to above.

Production of pamphlet: Printing of high-quality, souvenir pamphlets for those who wish to have more detailed information on the burial monuments.

Record and edit audio: We currently offer interactive audio guides to all of our self-guided museum visitors; this allows us to provide high-quality interpretation for non-English speakers and families who are not in a position to take a guided tour. By adding content relating directly to the graveyard we can incorporate the graveyard story more fully into our visitor experience.

Publication of database: Our intention is to make the complete inventory available and searchable online. This will allow family history researchers locate and study their family's monuments remotely and perhaps plan their visit to the graveyard in person. We are working with the local library service to make this happen in as cost effective a way as possible.

Update website: We would like to add to the content on the Medieval Mile Museum website, incorporating the results of this project and providing a portal through which family history researchers can access the database and interact with museum staff.

Guide training: We are lucky to have some of the finest tour guides in the country. Part of this project will involve adding to the guides' already stunning repertoire by incorporating poignant and relatable stories for those visitors who wish to visit the graveyard in particular.

About Kilkenny Civic Trust

Registered Charity Number: 20023386

This project is managed by the Kilkenny Civic Trust which is a registered charity set up by Kilkenny County Council in 1989. The Trust’s remit is to promote public awareness and appreciation of Kilkenny’s architectural, cultural and historic heritage for the benefit of the public and to encourage their conservation and use.

Fundraising Details

Project Cost Breakdown (Per Kilkenny Civic Trust)

Completion of inventory € 1,250
Completion of CAD drawings € 750
Graphic design of panels € 1,650
Design of pamphlet € 550
Production of panels € 1,500
Production of pamphlet (5k) € 750
Record and edit audio € 2,750
Publication of database € 2,250
Update website € 650
Guide training € 400
Total € 12,500

If you could financially support this project it would be greatly appreciated.

100% of donations go directly to the Kilkenny Civic Trust's PayPal account below (Registered Charity 20023386). 

Project Updates


Geolocation: 52.6516345,-7.2519834 

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