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height is 10 feet 4 inches, or 7 feet to the spring of the arch, and five feet wide on the clear, has headings down the capitals and ribs, and filleted capitals with nail head and rope enrichments. The well-proportioned arch and hood had two corbels; the right has vanished; the left represents a hideously wrinkled and squinting human head.1 One of the side blocks bears what appears to be an ancient mason mark, perhaps the letter A. All these details are very delicately chiselled. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, a smaller and later pointed arch was inserted. It measures 2 feet 7 inches wide, and 5 feet 7 inches high at the arch, with a plain chamfer and stopping pieces at the bases. It was removed by a Mr. Koche (who leased the place about 1840), and is built into the summer-house near the fish-pond. In the window above this porch (tradition says, rather doubting the exact spot)2 was found the box of church plate, which curious discovery has been above described.
The Sacristy or " Black Hag's Cell" is manifestly an after-thought of the late fifteenth century. It runs along the outer eastern face of the cloister wall to the south of the church, and was 29 feet 2 inches long, and 15 feet 6 inches wide, over all, its walls being only 2 feet thick. An ambry, a defaced window, and another ambry remain to the south. The gable has fallen, and in the debris we found the head of its window, a narrow round-headed ope, with a deep chamfer very awkwardly running up into an ogee head.3 A broad and very flat-arched door led out of the cloister; it is chamfered, and was probably an outer gate, closed when the sacristy was built, and the pointed door opened into the church. Along the cloister wall is a cornice supported on neat angular corbels, and hollowed for a water-table, while traces of a weatherledge rise for the insertion of the roof at the church wall.*
The Cloisteb is a large court, the sides measuring respectively— north, 74 feet 2 inches; south, 74 feet; east, 74 feet 1 inch; and west, 74 feet 3 inches; it has been used as a garden. In the east wall are only three doors: one, arched with small slabs and quite plain, the jambs destroyed,5 and the ope built up, led to a building north of the church, and now quite levelled; the second is the church door, and the third that to the sacristy: these have been already described. Above these is a cornice running across the church gable. It is supported on corbels of various types ; the first two have concave curves below, and " catches" for
1 Fig. 3, p. 58. It is reported to bring luck to anyone who kisses it on first visiting the ruin.
* In 1875 I was shown the window high in the eastern gable of the refectory as the place of the find. As this is above the top of the cloister wall, it is not impossible that a ball from the cloister court might have lodged there. Mr. Wardell and I failed to get any unwavering tradition in 1903. Places in the north and east walls of the cloister were shown as well as the closed window over the west door of the church. The hall-court was certainly in the south-east angle of the garth.
3 Page 61, fig. 1.' * Page 55, fig. 7.
9 Near its base the upper socket-stone of an older door has been built upside down.
beams above; the next four have mouldings of the period of the church door; then two like the first. The other corbels in the east and south sides are rude, and usually convex in outline. At the corners the corbels are arranged in threes, one in each face of the wall, and one projecting diagonally from the angle a few feet below the others.1
The south wall had two gates: one 8 feet high at its western end led into the refectory; but the greater part of the jamb fell recently, and the flat inner arch is still intact, but nearly ready to follow the jamb.2 The other to the east opened outside the same apartment. It is hidden inside under smooth plaster. The jambs of a narrow ope appear close to the west jamb of the more western gate.
The north wall has a late door with a distorted pointed arch and coarsely dressed quoins, and a hole for a long bar to each side. Rough bond-stones show that it had a porch outside.
The west wall has for the most part fallen, and been partly rebuilt a little off the old foundations, which are, however, traceable. The rest is . nearly buried in the heap of rubbish resulting from the collapse of the second vault in 1898. Only the southern end is still entire.
It is not clear whether the cloister had an arcade, but I think it very unlikely. The garth has been long since cultivated and set with gooseberry bushes bearing excellent fruit. A number of "tombstones" (more probably gutter-slabs) were then removed. The foundations of a long wall, 9 feet from the south side and 11 from the east side, remain. I found in the garth a double capital and octagonal and spiral shafts at the summer-house and elsewhere, which are certainly very suggestive of cloister pillars, similar ones occurring at Adare, Quin, the Dominican Abbey of Limerick, Ennis, and other places not far away. They are of fifteenth-century work, earlier, it appears, than other work of that century found in the ruins.3 It is 60 hard, however, to believe that an arcade, perhaps, 50 feet square, with 18 to 20 arches at each side, could have existed and vanished, leaving only a single capital and two or three shafts, that I am disposed to consider that the blocks belonged to other features. The ambulatory is also in most Irish monasteries more usually about 7 feet broad than 9 to 11 feet. It is more likely that the foundations were of stable buildings, said to have once been built in the garth, and that the space was surrounded, at any rate to the east and south, with a pent-house roof only resting on posts, as at Clare Abbey and elsewhere.
The Domicile, with its range of vaulted rooms, is a massive but rudely built and decayed house along the western side of the cloister. It has projecting buttresses, 4 feet 5 inches thick, at each southern angle; the eastern buttress was partially defaced when the cloister wall was built against and into it; the building is, therefore, evidently the oldest
1 Page 65, fig. 4. • Page 55, fig. 3. 5 Page 55, fig. 5; and page 61, fig. 7.
existing part of the convent, for even the church is of the age of the cloister walls, while the refectory seems later.
The northern end and vaulted room have been demolished (perhaps for material for Old Abbey House and yards) long beyond the reach both of memory and tradition. The north "cellar" fell, says tradition, "about a hundred years ago," in the time of Col. Morgan's grandfather. The second "cellar" collapsed in 1898; I remember it as reputedly unsafe in 1875. Mr. Wardell fortunately planned it before its destruction; it measured 16 feet by 22 feet. The remaining or south "cellar," measuring 21 feet 8 inches by 16 feet 8 inches, is standing; but the vault
is cracked in every direction, and opening more and more each year; it is beyond hope of repair, and the collapse of its neighbour renders its destruction more imminent. It is noticeable that the vaulting does not bond into the end wall, and so may be an after-thought. In the wall between these cellars are two large deep ambries on each side; two doors open through the south wall into the space west of the refectory, and another door in the southern and most northern cellars to the west. The upper room had to the south a fireplace and a doorway 14 feet or 15 feet above the ground, perhaps, to some vanished building next the refectory. In the upper south wall were a row of neat window-slits chamfered all round, and apparently unglazcd, with flat-headed splays.
The stones of one light have been removed and re-set near the garden house; the head is ogee, the light only 5 inches wide.1 The "cellar" opes are all rude and plain.
The Refectory is a fine room about 61 feet by 22 feet 6 inches, but, as usual, not truly rectangular. The features of its end walls are defaced; but doorways are said to have been removed from the two larger breaks. In the south wall we find a recessed window-sill to the east, then a recess in a projection, suggesting the "reader's recess" in the refectory of the neighbouring monastery of Askeaton. Then the splay and gap of a pointed window, of which the outer stone-work is set in the summerhouse, and, lastly, the fine companion window still intact.2 They have segmental arches slightly pointed over the splays. The wall is levelled from the edge of the junction with the kitchen. The sides did not bond into the lower part of the south cloister wall, but only in the upper portion; this suggests at least an extensive restoration in early times. As already noted, a flat-arched doorway led into the cloister from the refectory, and another remains outside its east wall. There was evidently a garret above it, as a fairly large window remains in the upper part of the east gable, and one plain corbel still projects from the north wall. These walls are pierced by several putlog holes.
The Kitchen has been greatly defaced; the greater part of the east wall and the south-east angle next the stream still remain; it was over 69 feet long, and about 27 feet wide. The west wall and all save 18 feet of the south end are levelled. It has a defaced door and two unglazed plain window slits in the east wall, at which bond-stones and a large heap of rubbish mark a small projecting building, perhaps a garderobe, as a little stream runs past its angle and the southern face of the kitchen; no traces of other out-buildings remain.
Other Remains.—A most picturesque old fish-pond, shadowed by fine yews and lime-trees, extends along the foot of the modern garden from near the "cellars." It possibly dates from monastic times. At its western end stands the oft-mentioned garden-house, in whose older arches a tenant of the place, with the pseudo-Gothic taste of his generation, satirised by Scott (" Save me from this Gothic generation !"), had inserted a doorway removed from within the western door of the church, and a tall (but now curtailed) window from the refectory. A third window in the north face was brought from some uncertain location, possibly the "reader's recess" in the refectory ;3 but we write with all reserve. It has a trefoil head, but in all other respects is similar to the refectory windows, with recessed and chamfered sides and sill; aud yet another ogee-headed light from the domicile is built into the wall near the east.
The top blocks of a well-proportioned pointed door form the gateway to the orchard, north of the convent; the piers are modern. The orchard
1 Page 55, fig. 6. s Page 61, figs. 3 and 5. 3 Page 61, fig. 2.
walls near the church contain some moulded stones from its fabric. The head block of a window with double ogee lights 6 inches wide, probably from the church, as already noted; blocks of door piers and gutter-slabs lie in the garden. A large cupped door-socket, the sill of a two-light window with 8 inch opes, the double capital above mentioned, shafts, blocks, and more gutter-slabs lie in the garth. The gutter-slabs probably capped the church walls before they were lowered, and are popularly supposed to have been "tombstones."
Enclostjues.—Two small old foot-bridges lead by a shaded lane-way from the kitchen to two fields, having a crosB-branch of the stream to the east of the first, to which a way also leads past the west side of the garden by other bridges. The more southern field alone gives marks of old enclosure, though the other is bounded by three branches of the streams, and is shown as conventual by its position between the Abbey
and its better-marked neighbour. The southern field has traces of earthen mounds. An ancient south gate remains built up in the modern wall. It has a roughly built gateway 10 feet wide on the opening, with a very rude pointed arch and strong piers projecting inwards. To it, says tradition, an Earl of Desmond brought his dying wife, wounded in their escape from Shanid Castle, which rises proudly to the south-west on the moated summit of the ridge. This field also commands a pleasing view of the hills between Shanid and Knockpatrick, behind Shanagolden.
The Columbaeium.1—In the same field, north of the gateway, and near the stream, stands the convent pigeon-house. It is an interesting
1 Mr. George J. Hewson says of this columbarium (Journal, vol xxx., 1900, p. 168): The "Columbarium of Monaster na Cealagh, near Sanagolden, in which a wicked abbess is populurly said to have been confined for life," p. 168. I heard no sucli legend in 1876, or in recent years.