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The beautiful 12th century church at Ullard, Co. Kilkenny

Located in the shadow of the Blackstairs Mountains, Ullard church, County Kilkenny contains a fine 12th century doorway, which is well worth visiting. This impressive entrance utilises a series of chevron and dot designs as decorative motifs, while further embellishments included at least three carved human heads. Although it has been somewhat modified over the […]

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The Shrine of St. Lachtin’s Arm

Saint Lachtin’s Arm is an important religious relic that was associated with Donoughmore church in Co. Cork. Dating from circa 1120 AD, it was made to encase a human bone, purportedly belonging to Saint Lachtin.  The shrine’s hereditary guardians were the Healy family and for much of the medieval period they were entrusted with its […]

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A Twelfth Century Hand-Warmer

Dating from the 12th century and decorated in foliate patterns, this small, bronze ball is actually a hand-warmer. Inside the metal sphere, which unscrews into two halves, is an iron cup that held hot charcoal. This clever design allowed the hands to be warmed without getting burnt. Medieval hand-warmers, such as this one, were predominantly […]

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