Sundials in Ireland - Ancient Monastic Dials

Toureen Peacaun Co.Tipperary

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The monastery that became Toureen Peacaun was founded in the 7th century by St. Alban (or Abhun). His successor was St. Beccan (also referred to as Peacaun, Beagan and Mo-Bhec-oc). It was from this - St. Beccan (Peacaun) - that the name of the site derives. A date in the 7th century is suggested by tradition for the foundation of this monastery and the presence of a 13th century cross suggests the monastery was still active at that time.
This ancient monastic site contains the ruins of a medieval 12th  century Romanesque Church, a holy well, a west cross, an east cross, many other cross slabs, numerous small inscribed slabs and a sundial.
The photo opposite shows the church with remains of the east cross in the rectangular area in the left foreground.
80Kb Photo

The vertical stone dial is 1200 mm high with a 260 mm wide stem and a 530mm diameter head and is dated circa 800 A.D. Originally located in the cemetery of the old monastery it was built into the wall of the medieval church during restoration work at the site in 1944. Hour lines have all but disappeared and nothing remains of the gnomon but a 35mm hole in a 70mm square recess where a wooden or metal gnomon would have fitted.

The site is located about 6km NW of Cahir off the N24 Cahir to Tipperary road. From the N24, take the L3102 to the southwest. About half a kilometer along the L3102 take an unnamed but locally sign posted, very narrow, single vehicle width lane to the south (on foot only is strongly recommended). After 100 metres you will come to an unmanned gated railroad crossing. Cross it, obeying the signposted safety instructions, proceed through a farm yard and continue about 50 metres down the dirt path alongside a small stream to the site.

Access to this final 150 metres from the L3102 to the site should be made on foot and the site itself is inaccessible by car.

National Monument No 332

British Sundial Society SR No 3937

Coordinates Lat 52 25" North  Long 8° 00' West

IRISH GRID   S  200513   128536

If you know the location of a sundial in Ireland (NOT a mass produced DIY Store garden ornament) please email it to me (Click here to email M.J.Harley) - a member of British Sundial Society
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