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Clare Places and Placenames
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The ruined Church of Disert consists of nave and choir, the former measuring seventy one feet by twenty four, the latter twenty five feet six inches by twenty one feet three inches; the walls perfect, about fourteen feet high and three feet one inch thick. There is a window in the west gable but of what particular form I could not ascertain from the quantity of ivy with which it is covered within and without. Thirteen feet ten inches from west gable in the south side is a beautifully sculptured circular door, six feet ten inches high, three feet two wide, the front having four circles one over the other, resting the first or inner on the sides of the door. The second arch was supported by a slender column of stone at each side carved and surmounted by a human head; the column on the east has disappeared. The third arch is supported by the angles of the wall and the fourth by two slender columns like those already mentioned, with heads also. The stones of this arch are nineteen in number and project a little from the wall, presenting twelve human heads and seven heads of some animals, the head on the key-stone being smaller than any of the rest.
There is a pointed window in the north wall of nave near this gable, seven feet seven inches by three feet ten inside and six feet two by nine inches outside. There is a window in the south side of quire near the east gable, built up with the same sort of stones as the choir arch, pointed inside, where it is six feet seven inches high and four feet four inches wide, round outside, where it is five feet two high and six inches wide.
The window in the east gable is eleven
feet two and a half inches wide and about fifteen feet high, divided into
three compartments by two triangular pillars of masonry and lined all
round with the same sort of cut stones as those in the choir arch, but
looking somewhat fresher. These compartments are bluntly (flatly) pointed
inside and circular in front. Tradition says that this choir was added
to the Church by O'Dea, and the people here always call it O'Dea's Chapel.
Indeed, this tradition is favoured by the appearance of the walls and
its being built up against, not part of, the middle gable, nor would I
be able to discover any material difference between the masonry of this
gable and the rest of the choir.
There is a tombstone near the east gable with the following inscription on it:'"Here lies the body of Honora Mc Namara, the wife of William Neylan, Esquire, and the body of Celia O'Brien the wife of Capt. Daniel Neylan. Celia died the 5th day of April, Anno Xti. 1728.' Those Neylans were located at Knock-na-Graige in the neighbouring Parish of Rath, but are now extinct or dispersed.
Eugene Curry, 1839.
Extract taken from John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 'The antiquities of County Clare': letters containing information relative to the antiquities of the County of Clare collected during the progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1839. Ennis, Clasp Press, 1997.