Gods of the Neale Monuments, Co. Mayo

Neale Pyramid
https://www.mayowalks.ie/media/Media,10491,en.pdf

Pyramid

Under Chapter marked ‘Curiosities’ this report on page 37 stated that close to the House of Lord Kilmaine in Co. Mayo were several strange objects!  One was a square stone structure with an inscribed slab.  The crudely inscribed inscription with a text ‘so nonsensical & complicated’ that one may conclude it was the humour of one Lord Kilmaine’s composition.  On this site one may view the inscription (here copied from Rd. Hayward’s version)  In smaller letters above is the information that it was ‘Erected by Con and Edna of the line of Haber in 1753.’  The smaller plinth included three odd carvings.  The lower one was of a horrific animal, like a giant cow or dragon with a tail that included three fingers & thumb.  The other ones may have represented a cow that sat on its tail plus an ecclesiastical looking figure with cap & large garment that held an object like a shield.  A smaller third plinth included a pointed finial that rested on top.  Old Gothic characters formed ‘a puzzling & probably meaningless inscription’ on three of its four sides.  Lewis’s description was that of ‘a unicorn opposite to a man surrounded with a glory and a lion below them.’  Hayward with Professor Macalister & others worked upon a rubbing by Foy from Cong to produce the following translation ‘ORA PRO AIA MOA INCUS QUININIU’ ie Pray for the soul of Moaincus who made me.’  A Roman lettered inscription on another face looked like a date mark. [i]

Close to the ruined Lord Kilmaine’s House was a stone slab with carvings of an animal, & a reptile which are referred to as Deilhe feile (Gods of Welcome), Diana Ffeale or The Gods of the Neale.[ii]

The Gods of the Neale steeped Pyramid was erected approximately two hundred yards east of the Neale village, inside the old Demesne walls also close to ruins of a house.  It comprised of stone slabs with carvings of a griffin, a human also an angel.  An inscription from 1745 referred to the sculptured figures as Diana Feile, Diana Ffeile or Gods of the Neale.  Several other mythological characters were marked with one that stated Lov Lava Adda (Llugh who is buried nearby,’ Longstone’) [iii]

This Monument was located about two hundred yards from the Neale village, close to the ruins of Lord Kilmaine’s house.  A collection of stone slabs with carvings of three mythical figures, a griffin, unicorn are inscribed on stones.  The inscription referred to those sculptures as Deidhe Feile, Diana Ffeiale or Gods of the Neale. [iv]

The stepped Pyramid at the Neal was nine metres in height also twelve metres in width.  It was erected circa 1760 by John Brown the first Baron of Kilmaine in memory of his brother Sir George Brown.  One may view images on this page. [v]

The Neale called An Éill meant a narrow strip of land.  A Pyramid built in the area during 1760 was nine metres in height with a base of nearly forty feet in width.  It was attributed to the memory of Sir George Brown by his brother the 7th Baron of Kilmaine Sir John Brown.  The sculpture was designed by the Earl of Claremount for his brother-in-law Sir John Brown.  At one time the sculpture was crowned by a lead figure of Apollo. [vi]

Located on the lands of Lord Kilmaine in the Neale was a type of stepped Pyramid with a central carving that depicted three figures: a griffin, a horse also an angel.  Beneath faded stones Medieval inscriptions were carved.  They referred to Diana Ffeale or Dia na Ffeile that translated as Gods of Welcome.  This site has several images. (15th November 2010 Rob Mc Elroy) [vii]

On the Ballinrobe north side of the Neale is an usual stone structure of a stepped Pyramid.  This had a height of nine metres with a twelve metres width.  It was erected by John Brown the first Baron of Kilmaine to honour his brother Sir George Brown’s memory in approximately 1760. [viii]

The Gods of the Neale is a stone Monument close to Lord Kilmaine’s House with several images that include a griffin, a unicorn plus an angel. [ix]

Close to the ruins of Lord Kilmain’s old House is a stone Monument with a central stone slab.  There were carvings of a human, an animal plus a reptile.  These were referred to as Deithe Feile, Diana Ffeale or Gods of the Neale. [x]

Temple

This National Monument 0359 is a free – standing Folly located within the woodlands shared with the Neale House of Lord Kilmaine.  It was regarded as an eighteenth-century intriguing heritage build in Co. Mayo.  According to this site the inscription is so ‘nonsensical & complicated that one must read the conclusion….that the entire object is merely the product of the humour of some Lord Kilmaine ITA1945’)  The inscription ends with the words ‘Erected by Con & Edna of the line of Herber Established their worship here 1753.’  Data Survey Folly. Dated from 1750 – 1755.  Coordinates 118935, 258905. (Date recorded 12th January 2011.)  Several images may be viewed on this site by James Fraher. [xi]

This Doric – like stone structure was erected by Lord Kilmaine as a Temple in honour of his first title of Lord Mount Temple.  It was made of carved stones but never completed.  The base was built pre 1865 when the Doric Columns were an addition to increase elevation.  The ladies of Kilmaine House used the Temple as a recreation venue or for family meetings.  Lord Kilmaine’s Estate possessed approximately four hundred acres yet in Co. Mayo by1170 he owned 114,000 acres. [xii]

This Temple of carved stones was erected amongst four hundred acres in South Mayo, it was surrounded by a high wall.  The unfinished Temple was built as a Folly by J. B. Kilmaine in honour of his first title of Lord Mount Temple during 1865.  It had a Hexagonal shape with six plain Doric Columns: once it had a wooden roof.  The base of the Temple had arches from an earlier period.  There was a possibility the Monument was placed on top of an earlier site to increase elevation.  The Folly was a relaxed place for family meetings etc for the ladies of the House. [xiii]

This Doric – like Temple located in the Neale in South Mayo was erected by the Baron of Kilmaine in honour of his first title Lord of Mount Temple.  The structure was unfinished.  The base of the structure plus Doric columns was an addition during 1865 to provide elevation.  The temple was a meeting place etc for the ladies of Kilmaine House.  One may view images on this page. [xiv]

The hexagonal Temple at the Neale was produced with gray limestone that was constructed of six tall pillars built on an artificial mound, joined at the top by a six -sided ring.  The artificial mound was constructed internally with spacious apartments.  This structed was modelled on the Greek style possibly during the nineteenth century. [xv]

A Structure in the Neale area was erected by John Brown Baron of Kilmaine to honour his first title of Lord Mount Temple.  The Doric – like Temple was made from carved stone, however it was never finished.  The base was built pre – 1865 when additional Doric Columns was placed to secure further elevation.  The building was in use for gatherings or family recreation for the ladies of Lord Kilmaine’s household. [xvi]

An unfinished hexagonal Greek Temple was erected during 1865 by John Cavendish Brown, Baron of Kilmaine.  It was used by Ladies from The Big House for sewing, knitting or relaxing. [xvii]

The Folly at Neale is a Registered Number: 31312104 plus is mentioned at this link.

https://maps.archaeology.ie/historicenvironment/?REG_NO=31312104

The Long Stone

The Lonsecnan Stone was set in an orchard wall near to the Gods of the Neal Monuments.  The inscribed slab reads on page 38 that ‘The above stone was found in Brefy in the County of Mayo, AD,1732, in a coffin inscribed in Irish Character: ‘The Coffin of Genan’ which contained a skeleton twelve and a half foot long.  Genen was King of Ireland, AM3352, PD 7024, AC 1681, and this monument is erected to show the antiquity of the Irish character and the size of menkind in those early ages. Ad 1746.’ [xviii]

The Long Stone or Lia Lugha is located at the forks of Cross & Cong roads.  It was believed to have marked the burial site of Luch Lamhfhada, son of Nuadha, King of the Tuatha De Danann who was slain at the Battle of Moturna.  [xix]

Discovered in a cave during 1739 the Lia Lugha is now enshrined at the fork in the road between Cong & Cross south of Neale village.  The site is believed to mark the burial place of the King of the Tuaithe De Danann’s son Lugh Lamhfhadahe who was killed at the Battle of Moytura. [xx]

Lugh, ‘Lugh of the Long Hand’ was believed to have been buried at the cave.  The inscription on the Stone discovered nearby to the Monuments of the Neale was dated 1745.  According to William Wilde the area was the site for battles between The Fir Bolgs with the Tuaithe De Danann.  There are several images on this site. [xxi]

A battle was fought between The Fir Bolgs with the Tuaithe De Danann in the Neale area.  Following his death at the Battle of the King of The Fir Bolgs, King Eachi on the fourth & last day The Long Stone was erected in his honour. [xxii]

This site referred to the author’s introduction to The Lia Lugha when he read William Wilde’s ‘Lough Corrib, its Shores and Islands.’  He believed that The Long Stone was part of a pair erected in the area. (Ronan.) [xxiii]

The Lia Lugha Stone was reported to be erected at the site of the burial place of Lugh Lamhfhadahe, son of Nuadha following a battle. [xxiv]

Dated 1739 the Lia Lugha is located at a fork in the roads of Cross & Cong south of the Neale village.  It is believed to have been the burial place of Lugh Lamhfada, the son of King of the Tuatha De Danann named Nuadh. [xxv]

Fr. O ‘Malley Fairgreen

Fr. John O ‘Malley Millennium Park or The Fairgreen was established in honour of Re. Fr. John O ‘Malley who founded the St. John the Baptist Church during 1875.  He founded the local school during 1883.  He was also honoured for his assistance & support to his Parishioners during the 1870’s & 1880’s.  The Monument was built with stones retrieved from the original old church & school in the village. One may view images on this page. [xxvi]

St. John the Baptist Church with Calvary was located in the centre of the Neale village, built during 1875.  The foundation stone was laid by Rev. Fr. John O’ Malley.  The area is called either The Fairgreen or The Millennium Park.  The Monument was erected with stones from both the old the Church of 1875 & old Neale school of 1883.  The tribute to this priest was for not only his role in the local Land League’s success but for his contribution & assistance to all his parishioners during the Famine plus crop failures of 1870’s / 1880’s. [xxvii]

The old Church had a sixteenth century window, the building was possibly built on the site of a former Christian Monastery founded by St. Patrick. [xxviii]

This site has an image of the old school prior to its demolition during 1986: https://www.colemans.net.au/theneale/photos.html

Footnote

The Neale Estate was founded by Richard Bingham’s Cartographer John Brown.  It was occupied by his cousin & Land Agent Rev. James Cromie during the nineteenth century. [xxix]

This PDF mentions the area plus has several images of the Neale Monuments: https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/app/uploads/2019/10/Mayo.pdf

Bibliography

[i] 552.58 KB M C C (https://www.mayo.ie/getattachment/e2f2b1e8-8144-412b-b941-799571170bea/attachment.aspx) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[ii] Neale House (https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/31312104/neale-house-nealepark-neale-county-mayo) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[iii] By Route 14.2 (http://irelandbyways.co.uk/ireland-routes/byroute-14/byroute-14-1/6/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[iv] The Neale (https://joycecountrygeoparkproject.ie/en/attractions/theneale/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[v] The Neale (http://www.mayowalks.ie/media/Media,10491,en.pdf) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[vi] The Neale (https://joycecountrygeoparkproject.ie/en/attractions/theneale/)

[vii] Rob Mc Elroy (http://robmcelroyirelandramblertours.blogspot.com/2010/11/gods-of-neale-monument.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[viii] The Neale (https://www.colemans.net.au/theneale.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[ix] Neale (https://www.irishcentral.com/travel/irelands-travel-secrets-the-neale-home-to-irelands-pyramid) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[x] The Neale (https://www.colemans.net.au/theneale.html)  [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xi] Neale House (https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/31312104/neale-house-nealepark-neale-county-mayo) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xii] The Neale (http://www.mayowalks.ie/media/Media,10491,en.pdf) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xiii] The Neale (https://joycecountrygeoparkproject.ie/en/attractions/theneale/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xiv] The Neale (http://www.mayowalks.ie/media/Media,10491,en.pdf) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xv] 552.58 KB M. C. C. (https://www.mayo.ie/getattachment/e2f2b1e8-8144-412b-b941-799571170bea/attachment.aspx) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xvi] The Neale (https://www.colemans.net.au/theneale.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xvii] By Route 14 (http://irelandbyways.co.uk/ireland-routes/byroute-14/byroute-14-1/6/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xviii] 552.58 KB M C C (https://www.mayo.ie/getattachment/e2f2b1e8-8144-412b-b941-799571170bea/attachment.aspx) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xix] Neale (https://joycecountrygeoparkproject.ie/en/attractions/theneale/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xx] The Neale (https://www.colemans.net.au/theneale.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxi] Rob Mc Elroy (http://robmcelroyirelandramblertours.blogspot.com/2010/11/gods-of-neale-monument.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxii] The Battle of Moytura (https://www.mayo-ireland.ie/en/about-mayo/arts-culture/myths-legends/the-battle-of-moytura.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxiii] The Long Stone of the Neale (https://returnofancient.substack.com/p/the-long-stone-of-the-neale) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxiv] By Route 14.2 (http://irelandbyways.co.uk/ireland-routes/byroute-14/byroute-14-1/6/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxv] Neale House (https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/31312104/neale-house-nealepark-neale-county-mayo) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxvi] The Neale (http://www.mayowalks.ie/media/Media,10491,en.pdf) [assessed 15th February 2021

[xxvii]The Neale (https://pdf4pro.com/view/temple-mayo-walks-544fb.html) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxviii] By Route 14 (http://irelandbyways.co.uk/ireland-routes/byroute-14/byroute-14-1/6/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

[xxix] By Route 14.2 (http://irelandbyways.co.uk/ireland-routes/byroute-14/byroute-14-1/6/) [assessed 15th February 2021]

 

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