Mr. Gray composing his elegy?

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Where: Leinster, Carlow, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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On this Good Friday, when church services have been curtailed/prohibited due to the pandemic, it seems appropriate that we go to church? This lovely photograph of the “Old Cathedral” at Leighlin in County Carlow shows a church that looks like it was built in stages. The gentleman loitering on the tombstone looks like a poet in contemplative mood, and so inspired the title above.

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_CAB_00853

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 5902
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland oldcathedral leighlin cocarlow tomstones poet graveyard tower carlow leinster ireland stlaserianscathedral dioceseofleighlin dioceseofcashelandossory churchofireland leithghlinn ceatharlach cúigelaighean

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  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:10:59

    Contemplation and Easter were both themes in an article in Carlow Sentinel - Saturday 24 February 1844

    A VISIT TO OLD LEIGHLIN THE CATHEDRAL What a venerable object is the old cathedral church! -What sources for contemplation does its time-honoured presence afford!
    after which the writer shares lengthy contemplations with us, but then rather fittingly for this time of year,
    And upon this spot it was that, no less than twelve centuries ago, the congregated chiefs of the Irish heirarchy assembled in council to discuss no less important a question than the proper period for the celebration of Easter.
    followed by several hundred words detailing 7th century church politics. Rather more prosaically, the writer mentions "the completion of its late repairs.". EDIT: these repairs included removing a spire and building a wall to keep pigs out of the graveyard. Several hundred words later, back to contemplation
    Its situation in a quiet nook, defended from the blasts, and secluded from the busy world, is such as the most desiring retiree could desire

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:16:39

    The 1844 external description is:

    The structure, built after the plainest Gothic model, consists of a nave and chancel, united by a square belfry tower of considerable dimensions, and from the north project two roofless structures, apparently more ancient than the present building

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:24:57

    More repairs in 1865: Carlow Sentinel - Saturday 25 November 1865.

    the side-aisle, hitherto in a state of comparative ruin, has been newly roofed and restored. One other part of this ancient building, however, still remains in a roofless and almost ruinous state

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:28:25

    The lady chapel was reinstated about 5 or 6 years* ago. I sang at the opening ceremony for it. Bruckner's Christus Factus Est, and for some reason, as far as I remember (which may be extremely badly) also Bear Necessities, and a few other bits and bobs. *I'm old, any my perception of how long ago anything was may be a bit flawed.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:29:56

    Streetview At the NIAH: Reroofed c. 1899

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:45:06

    lemurview: www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/51090062555/in/dateposted/

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:45:37

    More proposed restoration in 1893 (Kilkenny Moderator - Saturday 08 April 1893) Including a description of the bit nearer Mr French's camera:

    The Chapter Room (formerly "The Abbey") opens off the choir, and is about 50 feet in length by 22 feet in breadth, with a beautifully cut stone window, and three well-designed and smaller windows on the N. And W. walls.

  • profile

    Inverarra

    • 02/Apr/2021 08:57:30

    The detail is extraordinary. Great photo for the day that’s in it. The equality of a graveyard where everybody is equally dead.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:00:30

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Was it a balmy evening in June 2014? cashel.anglican.org/celebrating-the-restoration-of-the-la...

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    derangedlemur

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:00:32

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Except the fellow sitting on the tomb. Unless they've stuck a broomstick up the back of his jacket, I suppose.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:01:56

    Sometimes flickr is amazingly difficult to choose between ... In 2010 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/churchcrawler/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/churchcrawler/5062072100/ In 2015 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/rschnaible/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/rschnaible/19311655256/

  • profile

    Inverarra

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:04:38

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ The quality of the photo is so good that only a dead man could keep still and not be blurred. I suppose they couldn’t have photoshopped him in later ?

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:22:37

    In the archive, how it looked before the 1843 works.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:23:54

    Ooo! It used to have a spire. In "[1801?]" - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000153381/HierarchyTree

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 02/Apr/2021 09:29:17

    The nearest vertical gravestone contains the name "Patrick Murphy", and according to www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/carlow/photos/tombstones/... the complete inscrption is:

    Erected to the memory of PATRICK | MURPHY who departed this life| who departed his life ... | Spike island and was ... | on the 17th day of August 1798? aged | 61 years and the body of | his beloved wife MARY MURPHY alia | FOLEY she departed this life the 2d | of December 18?4 aged
    7 of the 17 gravestones transcribed are for Murphys, but not one is an Austin Murphy.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Apr/2021 10:00:51

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner It was indeed a balmy evening. Not sure that the description there is all right otherwise though. The service was conducted by Tom Gordon, but the choir was Fingal Chamber Choir. I've sung all the things mentioned at some point or another, so I don't remember if it was in St Laserian's - no mention of Christus Factus, which I'm pretty sure happened as it was deemed appropriate. There were refreshments in the lady chapel as mentioned, followed by a party and curry in the deanery.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Apr/2021 10:26:14

    Per catholicreadings.org: St. Laserian of Leighlin was born around 566 in Italy. He was the son of Cairel and his wife Blitha. His mother was the daughter of Aidan, King Gabrán of Dal Riata in Scotland (537-58). He studied under the sacred Fintan Munnu of Taghmon (circa 635), in Taghmon, where he performed various miracles. people wanted for him to be King, so to escape worldly honor, he went to live as a Hermit life on an island between Scotland and Wales. In 598 he went to Rome and stayed there for four years. He followed Saint Pope Gregory in the Great (590-604). His reputation was so great he became the leader of up to 1,500 monks. He was a traditional man who founded the monastery of Inishmurray in County Sligo, and therefore called the Laserian of Inishmurray. Laserian was an advocate of the Roman method of calculation for Easter. He helped in settling the issue between southern Ireland on the national synod of Whitefield in March 630. He was Student of Saint Murin of Fahan.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Apr/2021 10:30:52

    Contrariwise, per wikipedia: Saint Molaise of Leighlin, also Laisrén or Laserian (died ca. 639), was an early Irish saint and abbot of Lethglenn or Leithglenn, now Old Leighlin in Co. Carlow, who is supposed to have lived in the 6th and 7th centuries. Born in Ireland and raised in Scotland as a young man

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 02/Apr/2021 10:31:00

    A little history www.saintlaserianscathedral-parishes.ie/stlaserian.php

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Apr/2021 14:36:08

    Looks like my memory is defective. Research appears to show that we did the first concert in the cathedral after the lady chapel was restored, not the inauguration. Which would explain random nonsense like The Bear Necessities.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 02/Apr/2021 21:22:01

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Austin Murphy, "International Man of Mystery"

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 02/Apr/2021 22:36:54

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Perhaps it's an example of that curious Victorian obsession with memento mori?

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 02/Apr/2021 22:39:26

    Roof slates look good, so is it after the 1899 re-roofing?

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 02/Apr/2021 23:42:21

    Those "pool table" grave stones are still there.. maps.app.goo.gl/vPXuBk6KEHT26Cqb9

  • profile

    Dr. Ilia

    • 12/Apr/2021 08:00:08

    Excellent shot!