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Gothic ruins and remains: disorderly burials and respectable bodies in Irish medieval ecclesiastical buildings, 1824-1900

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Show simple item record NicGhabhann, Niamh 2018-03-28T08:03:06Z 2018-03-28T08:03:06Z 2017
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract On 5 October 1863, the Freeman’s Journal published a statement on the desecration of burial places in Ireland by Thomas Leverton Donaldson, professor of architecture at University College London. Donaldson had undertaken a tour of several medieval Irish ruins, and called attention to their disrepair in the Builder, the popular trade publication of the architectural profession. Donaldson had found the floor of the abbey ruins, in Ross Abbey near Headford in Mayo, ‘strewed with the scattered remains of the dead’. In an altar recess, ‘where once an altar stood, and the holiest rites of the Roman Catholic Church were anciently performed’, he noted that a tomb was sunk in the earth, with its covering stones cracked and broken, exposing ‘the scene of desolation below’. He reported similar scenes at the medieval ruins of Athenry and Muckross, with ‘fragments of human skeletons lying about to be trodden underfoot’. To conclude, Donaldson demanded, ‘who has the power to remedy this state of things’, and wondered at what he had seen, as ‘certainly disrespect to the dead has never been an Irish failing’.1 Donaldson’s remarks reflect several strands of contemporary public discourse, including the value of ruins and their care and preservation, as well as the proper treatment of the remains of the dead in mid-nineteenth-century Ireland. These issues were complex and multi-faceted, and were based on fears for public health and sanitation due to contamination and the spread of disease caused by decomposing bodies, as well as contemporary anxieties around growing Roman-Catholic political agency, and potential Catholic repossession of medieval sites. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Homestead en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies;16, pp. 41-66
dc.subject burial en_US
dc.subject ruins en_US
dc.subject graveyard en_US
dc.subject respectability en_US
dc.subject Gothic en_US
dc.title Gothic ruins and remains: disorderly burials and respectable bodies in Irish medieval ecclesiastical buildings, 1824-1900 en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US 2018-03-28T07:57:12Z
dc.description.version PUBLISHED
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2735133
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies
dc.description.status peer-reviewed

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