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The first and most notable object of interest to the tourist
in Curraghmore is the little church of Clonegam. Clonegam is a parish, and
the public road from Ballyguin gate leads to the gate of the church, which
stands inside on the grounds; but it may, of course, also be approached from the
This church was re-edified in 1794 by the first marquis. It was re-built in 1841, and in 1893, a new roof was put on. Considerable historic interest attaches to this spot, and the inscriptions on some of the tombs record the deaths of the inmates who at one time were brilliant members of society, and received much attention from the world. The equalizing power of death is here under the shade of the Curraghmore woods most evident. Here is the quiet haven where the great and honoured by this world for the repose which is free from the amenities of pain or pleasure which the lurid world brought with it. Life dies, but seems renewed by the many storied and costly tributes of affection erected in church and graveyard.
When entering the church two large tombs are conspicuous in
the centre, one in granite, a huge monument to memory of Henry , third Marquis,
the other the grey marble tomb to the memory of John, fourth Marquis. To the
left, at the top of the church, is the splendid work of art raised to memory of
Sir Marcus Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, and Catherine, Countess, by whose marriage
the baronies of Beresford and le Poer were united. The old guide points it out
by the emphatic declaration, "There is the first of the Beresfords."
A very interesting monument of which we give an illustration, is that recessed in the right hand corner, upon which, though the church be dark, the light comes freely, and seems to illumine the artistic figures which adorn it.
This is the tomb to the memory of Lady Florence Grosvenor, first wife of the fifth Marquis. It is considered one of the most famous productions of that famous artist, Boehm. It bears on the corner, Boehm Fecit 1873. The full reclining figure of the lady and of the child with whom she died, are "speaking" evidence of high art which produced them. A small cross opposite the door of the church denotes the burial place of this lady. In the church and church-yard will be found the following as among the principal epitaphs:-
"To the memory of Marcus Beresford, Earl and Viscount Tyrone, Baron Beresford and Baronet, who departed this life on 4th April, 1763, in the 69th year of his age , and of Catherine, baroness Le Poer in Fee, his Countess , daughter and heiress to James Power, Earl of Tyrone, Viscount Decies and Le Poer, who died in the 68th year of her age. on the 16th of July, 1769."
"Catherine countess Dowager of Tyrone wife of Sir Marcus Beresford and daughter of James Power Earl of Tyrone died 16th July 1769 68 years of age."
"Hon. Anne Constantia Beresford, wife of Right Hon. John Beresford, and daughter of Comte de Conde, of France, died 26th of October, 1772, aged 35 years."
"Lady Catherine Beresford, born in 1778, died June,1843.’’
"Marcus Beresford eldest son of George de la Poer, Earl of Tyrone, and Elizabeth, his Countess, who departed this life on the 30th of August, 1783, in the 13th year of his age". "Marcus Besesford, Esq., eldest son of the Right Hon. John Beresford, died 16th of November, 1797, 34 years of age".
"George de la Poer, the Most Noble the Marquis of Waterford, K.P., who died on the 2nd of December, 1800, in his 68th year."
"Elizabeth Marchioness of Waterford, daughter of Henry Monck, Esq., died 15th of January, 1816, 73 years of age".
"The most noble Henry Beresford, Marquis of Waterford, died at Carmarthen, 16th of July, 1826, aged 55 years.’’
"Tho Most Noble Henry de la Poer Beresford third Marquis of Waterfod, died 27th of March, 1859, aged 47 years.’’
"The Rev. John de la Poer Beresford fourth Marquis of Waterford died 6th November 1866."
"John de la Poer Beresford , fourth Marquis of Waterford ; Earl and Viscount Tyrone ; Baron Beresford , of Beresford , Co Cavan ; and Baron de la Poer , of Curraghmore , Waterford , in the peerage of Ireland ; Baron Tyrone , of Haverford West , in the Country Pembroke , in the Peerage of Great Britain : in Holy Orders ; born 27th April , 1814 ; died 6th of November , 1866."