Sorrow in Sunlight

The graveyard of Grey Abbey, County Down. A Cistercian monastery was founded here in 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy and daughter of Godred Olafsson, King of the Isles after she had vowed to create such a house if given a safe passage across the Irish Sea. The abbey was closed down in 1541 and then the buildings burnt some thirty years later by the O’Neills to stop English colonists using them. On land directly behind the east end of the church the graveyard, where once monks had been buried, continued in use and is accordingly packed with tombstones tumbling one over the other. Particularly poignant is this stone erected to commemorate Isabella Green who died in December 1816 aged ten months.

2 comments on “Sorrow in Sunlight

  1. Nancy Sinsteden says:

    I read the stone itself as saying “Greenfield” with the field being on next line and no hyphen. Was that the family name?

    Beautiful stone, and as you say, sad. Enjoy the posts

    Nancy Sinsteden

    Sent from my iPad


    • After the word ‘Green’ there are two little indentation marks, more like an equal sign than a hyphen, so I take it that the family name was Greenfield. As you may know, it was quite common for tombstone carvers to split words in this rather elementary way…

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