A Walk through time – Daingean’s Church of Ireland ruin.
The remains of the Church of Ireland church stands tall but ruinous in the main street of the village. Only the front of the church and the bell tower remain; the nave and roof have been demolished at some point in time. The fabulous arched doorway with tooled limestone surround and hooded mouldings, now blocked up. The pinnacles of the bell tower remind me of a medieval castle. The limestone walls with the chiseled limestone around the windows shows this building must have been a very fine building in its day.
The grounds have beautiful big yew trees dotted here and there. As I walk over a little stone bridge I see the gravestones lying in the grass. Intrigued, I investigate. Some of the inscriptions are quite interesting. One belongs to a Captain Charles Dodgson. Research tells me he was in fact the grandfather of Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll. Lewis is, of course, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. How wonderful to have such an esteemed connection to the village. Interestingly, further research brings to light that he (Captain Charles Dodgson) was killed in action at Philipstown, Kings County, Ireland (now Daingean, County Offaly) and was buried here.
Records show the church was built in 1835 but the earliest gravestone is dated 1799 ( Rev.James Nixon) so maybe this church was built on the site of a former church.
Just outside the wrought iron gateway to the church a Nineteenth century fountain survives. It is surrounded by a semi-circle of jostle stones, which kept the fountain from being damaged. Imagine in this day having to go to the town to collect your drinking water from the fountain, how lucky are we.
So much history on our doorstep. Stay tuned for the next installment.
Written by Mitch Richie, Daingean Online’s intrepid Junior Reporter.
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