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Ireland's smallest cemetery is hidden in the grounds of Trinity College

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Ireland's smallest cemetery is hidden in the grounds of Trinity College

Trinity College is known for many things - the Books of Kells, its iconic front arch and the beloved Pavilion Bar which hosts flocks of young Dubliners for cans of cider every time the sun makes appearance are just a few of its attractions.


The fact it is home to 'Ireland's smallest cemetery' is not high on its list of well-known attributes. Did you know that just adjacent to the Trinity College Chapel lies a teeny tiny lies the resting place of Dr Luke Chaloner, one of the college's first provosts and a founding figure of the university.


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According to the official Trinity tour, Chaloner was “a major driving force behind the establishment of Trinity College Dublin” and the “chief negotiator concerning the grant of lands and other assistance from Queen Elizabeth to the support of the college.” Quite the resumé!



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The provost died in 1613 and was laid to rest in the old college chapel. By the staircase to its gallery read an inscription which translated from Latin to: “Under this staircase lies Chaloner’s sad carcase, by whose prayers and intreaties this house now so great is,” according to Medium.


The chapel was later demolished in 1798 to make way for the new chapel which sits on the campus today. An alabaster effigy of Chaloner had been installed on top of the tomb but due to being exposed to the elements post-demolition, it was eventually eroded away rain.


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Today you can visit the cemetery on campus though it is surrounded by railings. A worthy pit stop on an aimless stroll through Dublin city perhaps?

Featured Image Credit: @davidkeanedub on Instagram

Topics: Ireland

Gary Grimes
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