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History News

Local school gets a guided tour

This week, children from the local primary school in Oldtown – the nearest village to Clonmethan – got a tour of the church and graveyard as one of their school tours. In normal times, a school tour might be to a museum in Dublin or further afield. With the global pandemic, things are of course a little different, but Clonmethan is ideal as it is not only outdoors, but has some interesting local history.

Some Friends of Clonmethan volunteers were on hand to give the children some insights on local history. The pictures below show, in order, the school children being informed about locals who fought and died during World War 1, and about Tom Dreaper and the great horse Arkle.

First World War memorial
Grave of Tom Dreaper

It is wonderful to see the fruits of the efforts and labour of the Friends of Clonmethan being put to use, and to the benefit of the local school too. Let’s hope this is the first of many such local history trips. And a word of thanks to local firm Keogh’a crisps for some lunch time goodies.

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A summary of achievements for 2020.

While 2020 has been a strange year, as what the Friends of Clonmethan do is mainly outdoors, a fair bit has been achieved in the first year. The group set up on foot of a meeting in St David’s Church, Killsallaghan on 3rd January 2020. Since then, volunteers have cleared most of the graveyard, the old church is ivy free, and the gates were shot blasted and painted.

Reverend Aldhouse finaly got his tombstone (71 years later), we set up this website and work started on our application for funding to save the tower. A flood light has been installed and the straightening of headstones has begun. Finally a memorial to those who fought and fell in the First World War was erected.

Tanks so much to all involved in making this happen. A special thanks to Fingal Farm Home and Garden for donating flower bulbs and to Colm Flynn for helping with the gates.

Not bad for the first year. Onwards and upwards.

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History News

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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History News

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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News

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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History News

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!