Donard Church

Hollywood Graveslabs

The 15th/16th century parish church at Donard is standing in a rectangular graveyard, known as Heighington burial ground. The east and west gables, plus the foundations of the south wall is all that remains of the nave and chancel church. There is a doorway in the centre of the west gable and the remains of a bellcote. A tall robbed out window opening is present in the east gable. About 80 metres south of the church is a huge norman motte, it may have been built on a natural mound or the site of an earlier fort. Donard is derived from Irish: Dún Ard meaning high fort. The main purpose of my visit was to see the two slabs pictured below.

East gable

Hollywood Graveslabs

Donard, Hollywood medieval graveslab No 1. I was thrilled to find this Hollywood slab lying recumbent inside the west doorway. It is probably the best complete example I have seen so far. This style of incised cross, is the most typical found on Hollywood slabs. The one at Burgage More has a ring around the cross head. Another granite slab in the Hollywood style can be found leaning up against the exterior of the east wall, see image below left. Like most of the other sites with this type of slab, the presence of a motte suggests this was also an Anglo-Norman settlement.

Hollywood graveslab No 2.

Situated: A small lane, opposite Moynihan's Bar, on the west side of the village leading to Moat Farm Caravan and Camping Park, takes you to Donard church.

Discovery Map 56: S 9296 9763. Last visit Apr 2019.

Longitude: 6° 36' 52" W

Latitude: 53° 1' 17" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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