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Devenish Island Graveyard Survey


Located just north of the town of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, lies the remains of a superb monastic complex - Devenish Island. Most famous for it's round tower (one of the best preserved examples to be found in the country), Devenish also is home to an array of religiously significant sites.

In and around the magnificent round tower and ruined monastic buildings are to be found two ageing graveyards, containing headstones dating to the late 17th century and earlier. The upper graveyard is attached to St Mary’s Priory, whilst the lower graveyard is adjoined to St. Molaise's Church.


The inscriptions carved into the headstones were recorded in 1897. However, since then, many have become worn and badly eroded, some to the point of being illegible.

As there is no existing map which links the catalogue of inscriptions to the actual standing headstones, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) commissioned a survey of the two graveyards to produce a database of the headstones and their inscriptions. This database collects the inscription catalogue, graveyard maps and headstone photographs together and makes them easily available for anyone who wants access to a complete visual record of the Devenish graveyards. The survey was conducted in May 2004. 

   Click here to enlarge map

How To Use The Database:

Each graveyard is presented as a map, covered in a series of red, blue, yellow or orange dots. These dots correspond to different types of headstones.

Red dot-------- Upstanding headstone
Blue dot-------  Flat graveslab
Yellow dot----- High Cross
Orange dot ---- Stone coffin

Each headstone was given a simple code number: the headstones in the upper graveyard are prefixed with ‘U’ and their sequential number (01 - 17). The headstones in the lower graveyard are prefixed with ‘L’ and their sequential number (01 – 77).

To view an image of an individual headstone simply click on one of the numbered dots on each plan and the corresponding photograph with inscription text will be displayed. Please note: This section of the website uses pop-ups to display information. If you have the latest Windows service pack installed, you will have to "allow blocked content" to view the pop-up windows.  

Click here to view the lower graveyard map

Click here to view the upper graveyard map

This survey was undertaken by Peter Moore and Keith Adams of the CAF. Assistance during the course of the survey was kindly provided by: Dr Colm Donnelly (CAF), Dr Chris Lynn (then of NIEA: Built Heritage), Walter Porter and the staff of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency at Castle Archdale.