Cemetery: Newcastle-Lyons, Church of St. Finian 

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Dublin Index


File contributed by: C. Hunt & M.J. Bradley

    (From Mr. James R Fowler)

This church is the parish church of the large district known 
as Newcastle-juxta-Lyons, or Newcastel-Lyons.  It stands at 
one end of the village of Newcastle, which, up to the Union, 
returned two members to Parliament.  SEWARD (1795) says of 
the village:  “It is a poor and reduced place, which returns 
2 members to Parliament, patronage in the LATOUCHE family.”

Newcastle was at one time a Royal Manor, and is said to have 
possessed seven castles.  Of these, four still exist, one of 
them inside the wall bounding the church and rectory; it is 
a castle with a long building in its rear, used as a stable, 
hen-house, &c, and dividing the front of the rectory from 
the churchyard.  A lofty square tower was built in John's 
reign, and the church was built on to in the fifteenth 
century.  Before describing the ancient church, I had better 
draw attention to a pair of square stone slabs fastened on 

………..the castle near the rectory.  One fastened on to the long building is of blue
limestone, and refers to Dr. Thomas SMITH; the other, of granite, refers to Archdeacon

	J. L
ARCH    1806 Located here is a box with the following inside.
OBIT    1847 S at the top,  T  M below the S, Anno under the T M,
1727 on the bottom.

The church is a very interesting building.  It possesses one of the oldest bells in the
county. This is hung in one of the two apertures on the west side of the tower, which were
originally intended for two bells.  It is in the northern one.

The inscription runs in two lines round the waist of the bell, which is a small one, thus.
It is in relief:-


The second line terminates with the vine foliage and grapes.  The bell-rope holes pass
through the floors.  A small bell tells the ringer when to stop.

The late Rev. C. O'MEARA showed me the ancient church vessels – a chalice and paten of
beaten silver, and a flagon of electro-plate: needless to say, modern.

The chalice, which is placed on a base, which Mr. O'MEARA considered to have had a stem,
now lost, bears an inscription in a quaint, running hand as follows:-

The Gift of Wm WILLIAMSON Archdeacon of Glandelough to Newcastle Church
This runs in one line round the bowl of the chalice, and is very small.  Of course my
lettering is not the original (except the first few capitals).  Hall-mark GG, harp and
crown C (Old English).

The paten, which is of large size has a large rim inscribed in on line:-


Pg. 277

The flagon is inscribed (in Old English):-

	Presented to the Church of Newcastle Lyons by John George KEOUGH, Esq

The church is now far too large for the congregation of eighteen to twenty members.  Its
original length was some 80 feet.  Of this 35 feet is now unroofed.  There is a great arch
where once the east window stood.  Underneath this a door was made in later times.  Inside
there is the place where once stood a holy-water stop, and the cavity of a piscina.  There
are two handsome windows just before the choir arch.  Into this was built the grand east
window, which no words of mine can describe.  The panes are square.  The glass is quite
plain.  Into the heads of the three lights are introduced the letters:_
T  S            A N             1724

In the unroofed part of the church is a single table-tomb:-
	Sacred to the Memory
		James CLINCH Esq
	           who departed this Life
	    on the 14th day of August 1831
	          Aged Sixty five years
	     This Memorial was erected
		 by his Nephew
	Henry Crofton KEOGH, Clerk
	    in testimony of his regard

Inside the church are two monuments – one on the east wall, and another on the south.  The
latter reads :-
	Book (2nd Tess. I, 2)
	Erected by his widow and children
	in loving remembrance of
	the Revd Eugene O'MEARA M.A.
	for 18 years rector of this parish
	and previously for a like period
	Curate of St. Mark's Dublin
	He entered into rest 21st Feb 1860
	Aged 64

Top center of the page shows a chalice

	     In the adjoining chancel lie the remains of John 
GAST D.D. Late Archdeacon of Glandelagh & Curate of S. 
Nicholas without who departed this life the 25th day of Feb 
1788 aged 73 years

      For 23 years, and upwards, this parish was happy in 
the fruits of his ministerial labours Affable, chearfull, 
learned, zealous, charitable He conciliated the affections 
of all: And his life presented an engaging example of that 
Christian practice which with persuasive energy he 
recommended as a minister of the gospel. In grateful 
remembrance of his services, His parishioners have placed 
this stone a memorial to posterity: defirous that their 
Children may reverence the beauty of religion exemplified in 
a good life and aspire after the attainment of those virtues 
Which are acceptable to God. And cause the dead to be 
remembered With affection and respect.

The font of this church is of dark green or black marble, 
with a long stem, and is so rickety that a band of iron has 
been fastened round the bowl.  This, by means of hooks, is 
fastened up in a corner between the pews and the door.

The sole entrance to this church is by the tower (south 
side). There is no visible vestry.

A gold ring, of Lombardic design, was found some years ago 
in the vicarage garden.  It was inscribed in strange letters 
on the inside.  It was given to the finder, a friend of Mr. 

	                      I H S
	         1728 AGED 60 YEARS

		          I H S
	     DECbr THE 18th 1721

Erected by William LYONS in | Memory of his Mother Eliza | 
beth LYONS Alias McALL who | depd ye Life Novmbr ye 22 1786 
| Agd 66 yrs  Also his Father James

This Stone Erected by | Elinor Grogan in Memory | of her 
Husband Richard | Grogan who Depd ye life | Novbr ye 28th 
1791 | Agd 66 yrs | Requiescat in Pace  Amen

		          I H S
	         HERE LYETH THE
	          NOLDS SON TO
	        1st 1724 AGED 12

There is a large vault, grass-grown at top, with a 
cross-shaped loophole at east end, inscribed:- Pray for the 
souls of | Those members of the BAGOT Family |  who are 
interred herein | the last of whom | JAMES JOHN BAGOT ESQr | 
of Castle Bagot County…………………Dublin | Died Aged 76 years | 
on the 9th of June 1860 | Pray also for the soul of | Ellen 
Maria BAGOT | his widow interred Herein | who died at 
Rathgar on 17th Sept 1871 | R. I. P.
	Here lieth the Body of Samuel
	YATES Esqr Departed this life 20
	    Feb 765 aged 84 years also
	the Body of his Wife Alice Depart
	   ed this life Feb 10 1768 aged
		      70 years
	  And also the Remains of their
	second Son Thos YATES Esqr of
	  Colganstown in this parish who
	  Departed this Life suddenly on
	   the 8th Day of Jan. 1815 in the
	 89th Year of his age and without
	   having suffered from sickness
	        during his Long Life

Here lyeth ye Body of Elizabeth | RYAN Daur to Thos | RYAN 
Deceased Octor | ye 12th {or 17th} 1750

Mr. O'MEARA kindly furnished me with a list of his 
predecessors from 1780, from the Parish Register.  He says 
that a longer list may be found in Dalton:-
Thomas SMYTH 	Archdeacon				1730
William USHER		“				1753
Henry SMYTH		“				1761
John GAST			“				1765
James VERSCHOYLE	“				1788
James HASTINGS		“				1791
James LANGRISHE		“				1806
Charles STRONG		“				1847
Eugene O'MEARA		“				1861
Eugene H O'MEARA		“				1880
Charles O'MEARA		“			1887 -  1904

I ought to say something about the ancient cross.  It has a 
round pedestal, covered with ivy, and deeply sunk in the 
earth.  It is altogether out of proportion.  The head is 
thinner that the arms, and they are thinner than the shaft, 
which swells out at the bottom.  On the west face was once 
carved the Crucifixion, but this is worn away till there is 
a mere lozenge-shaped boss.  On the east face is a Celtic 

There is a large vault in the graveyard, totally without 
inscription. Mr. O'MEARA is thinking of putting up a slab to 
the memory of his father on the castle in front, with the 
remark that in the vicarage garden, which is only divided by 
a wall from the graveyard, a complete skeleton was found by 
one of Mr. O'MEARA's predecessors.

The Roman Catholic chapel at this place, built A.D. 1813, as 
an inscription over the door testifies, has monuments from 
that date in the graveyard, and some interesting memorial 

It is a rude, granite block, with an oblong hole in the 
centre.  It s of fair size, and lay in the churchyard of 
Kilmactalway in Dalton, the County Dublin historian's, time. 
 Its subsequent history is detailed by the inscription above 
it.  It is placed at the west door, on the north side:-
	        Holy Water font belonged
	    to the Church of Kilmactalway
	             on the property of
	   the BAGOT family for centuries
	            I have removed it
	            and placed it here
	              in memory of
	         James John BAGOT
	my beloved lamented husband
	   his name is dear to you all
 he departed this life, on the 9th day of June 1860
	     Pray for him also for me
	       Ellen Maria BAGOT

Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the 
Memorials of the Dead in Ireland Vol 6 (FHL # 0258795)