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In short: The life of Frederick Henry Aldhouse.

A few weeks ago we marked the final resting place of Rev Aldhouse. Below is a short history of his life.

Frederick Henry Aldhouse was born on 1st November 1873 in Dublin, to Frederick Stephen Aldhouse and Francis Harriette Aldhouse (nee Hime). He attended Trinity College receiving his BA in 1898 and his MA in 1901. At this time he was preaching in Castlebar from 1899 to 1902. In 1902, he moved to St Doloughs in Malahide Co Dublin as Curate. After his spell in Malahide he went on to Clonmethan church near Oldtown in 1914.

Around November 1916, Frederick volunteered his service during the first world war. He served in France with YMCA as a chaplain in May 1917. He later traveled to India in November 1918 and then returned to London in February 1919. After arriving home from volunteering his services he was awarded the British War Medal.

He then returned to Clonmethan Church in 1919. From this time onward he was a comfort to his parishioners, a good friend to his neighbours. Heremained in Clonmethan and wrote prolifically until the end of life on 30th August 1949. May he rest in peace.

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That big tree…..

Any of you who have ever visited the church and graveyard at Clonmethan would certainly have seen the large beech tree (below). It was measured recently and has a circumference of 232 inches. Based on a calculator at tree-guide.com this puts it at 346 years old. This calculator has a tolerance of about 10% either way, giving a range of 312- 380 years old.

Assuming an age of 346, this tree was a seedling in 1674. Have a look here for some key facts of that year.

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Restoration – the beginnings

Last week, the Friends of Clonmethan started to work on the outside of the church. The task at hand was to remove the old plaster ( a dashed finish which covered the original stone work ). Some of it could be “talked down” but some was quite stubborn. Teamwork prevailed, and as you can see from the photos below, the outside is quite clean and looking more like it’s original self. In time, we would hope to re-point the original stone work.

As you may notice in the photos, there is a ring of concrete around the top of the stone work of the nave of the church. This was poured when the roof was taken off in the 1950s. It has done its job and preserved the stone work very well.

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Rev F. H. Aldhouse remembered

Today just before noon, our community paid tribute to Rev F H Aldhouse. He provided comfort to his comrades as their padre during the Great War (1914-18), to the Church of Ireland members of our village and to his neighbours and friends of all faiths. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Clonmethan. His final resting place is marked with a most magnificent stone in the graveyard, with some of his own poetry inscribed  thereon. Do call in and pay your respects in not too distant future.

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Captured in a painting…

My 16yo daughter painted the picture below recently, at my request of course. I think she worked from a photo here on the blog. If anyone knows of other paintings, let us know as it would be great to capture them here.

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The history of Clonmethan church (St Mary) and the surrounding area

We are starting a historical blog on the parish of Clonmethan on the website. If you have any stories or photographs of funerals, weddings, christenings or any other events which took place in the church or grounds, we would like to hear them. If anyone has any family ties with Clonmethan Church (St Mary’s) or the surrounding area. please let us know, and we will include them.

We have recently made connections with relatives of Fredrick Henry Aldhouse the last Rev of Clonmethan (St Mary’s) who died on the 30 August 1949 and is buried in the church.  I will be writing a longer article on Fredrick Henry Aldhouse and his connection with the Church of Clonmethan (St Mary’s).

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Pictures paint a thousand words

The Friends of Clonmethan have been working very hard in recent months generally tidying up the inside of the building. This not only makes things look better, but it also has revealed how solid the structure of the building is. It also reveals work to be done of course ! Below are a few pictures which reveal the extent of work done much better than words can.

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What goes up, must come down.

It is an old saying, but also a statement by Isaac Newton, what goes up must come down. This week, it is the gates at Clonmethan which are coming down, probably for the first time in a century or more – and who knows, maybe since they first went up. Here is a video of some of the Friends of Clonmethan at work taking down the gates for restoration. Brilliant work!

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And let there be light

Genesis 1:3 – God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And there is now light at Clonmethan, probably for the first time in 60 years or more. Well done to all.

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Clonmethan and The Board of First Fruits

The Board of First Fruits was an arm of the Church of Ireland, established in 1711 by Queen Anne. Its goal was to improve churches and glebe houses in Ireland. In or around 1811, the church and glebe at Clonmethan received a total of £837 10s. as shown by the parliamentary records extract below.

In today’s terms, this amount equates to about £39,000. At the time, it could buy 79 horses, 930 stones of wool or pay wages of a skilled tradesman for 5583 days (source:https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency-converter/).