There’s a story in Newcastle that the old church at Middlequarter was set alight by Cromwell and his men while people were inside. The story is widely debated though, and others believe that it was ‘a warrior’ by the name of Prendergast who lived at Curraghcloney Castle who burnt the church. Afterwards he built a new fortified residence, the remains of which can be seen not far from the ruins of the church, and from which the village of Newcastle takes its name.
Despite its rather horrific history, Newcastle church and graveyard is not a place where I’ve felt uneasy. The graveyard is still in use, judging by the fresh flowers and Christmas wreaths adorning several of the graves.
Newcastle/Middlequarter Church and Graveyard
There’s room for a couple of cars beside the graveyard, and it’s a very short walk from the village if you fancy parking your car there instead. The graveyard is reasonably well maintained, especially the newer section. Proceed with caution if you venture around the back of the church on a wet day – as I did. The ground is uneven and quite marshy. (No…I didn’t have boots….again…)
I’m amazed by how dry the day looks in my photos. It was drizzling rain and the sky was more grey than blue.
I thought the rosary beads on this headstone were amazing. In the background you can see the flowers and wreaths left probably at Christmas by visitors to the graves.
Note the number at the back of the headstone? Some recording of graves took place last October according to Louise Nugent. You can see more details on the graves at www.historicgraves.com, including the front of the tombstone above.