Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: 'Chaloner's Corner': the smallest cemetery in Dublin

The Campanile (Bell Tower) of Trinity College.
While people the world over may be familiar with the Campanile — the bell tower of Trinity College in Dublin City — many may not know that the Trinity campus is also home to Dublin's smallest cemetery. Tucked in behind the chapel at its north-east corner, next to the dining hall, you get to this small but lovely burial ground by following the path to the campus ATM and then going up the steps to the left of the machine.

The cemetery is named for Luke Chaloner (also spelled Challoner; the inscription on his tomb sets it as Chaloner), one of three founding Fellows of Trinity College in 1592. Since Luke Chaloner's interment in 1613, the families of deceased College provosts down through history have had the option of having their loved one interred here in the vault under the chapel. The box tomb which replaced Chaloner's original tomb in 1798 marks his place of interment. There are also more recent burials in this space, forever connecting those interred to the campus where they once held sway over generations of students.

Most of the markers are so weather-worn they have only the shadow of an inscription left. Also, although there is no sign of such, according to Provost John Pentland Mahaffy, writing in 1903, the foot of Chaloner's tomb once bore alabaster replicas of Chaloner's arms. That must have been an interesting and rather curious sight. The vault also holds an alabaster effigy of Chaloner which his daughter had commissioned for the original chapel upon her father's death. When a new chapel was constructed (1787-98) the effigy was moved outside, and left subject to the vagaries of the weather. Suffice to say, sea air and alabaster do not mix well, and over time the sculpture was damaged by the weather. Eventually it was cut into two pieces and deposited into the vault via a slide.

Chaloner's Corner
Cornered in from a different perspective.
Up the steps brings you to this special burial ground.

Mahaffy, John Pentland.An Epoch in Irish History: Trinity College, Dublin, its Foundation and early Fortunes, 1591–1660. London,1903.

Are there any Trinity College Graduates on your family tree? If so, then visit my Tuesday's Tips post The Alumni Dublinenses: Finding a well educated Irish ancestor.

To view another very small cemetery in Dublin City centre visit my post: In the midst of the metropolis, a Huguenot burial ground .



  1. Replies
    1. Colleen, thanks very much for your comment. I think it's charming too.


  2. Jenn, I agree with Colleen, such a lovely spot, and hidden away like that I wonder how many people walk by not knowing it's there.

    1. Charlotte, thanks very much for your comments. It is a lovely spot, good for those who like to seek.



Comments on this blog are always deeply appreciated; however, in the spirit of true collegiality, I ask that you do not write something you would not say to me in person.

This blog is CAPTCHA free, but because of spammers, comments moderation is in operation for posts older than two days.

Any comments that are mean-spirited, include URLs which are not connected to the post topic, contain misinformation, or in any way resemble advertising, will be removed.

Cheers, Jennifer

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...