Tuesday, December 11, 2012

St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral, Newtown, Trim. Co. Meath

The Tomb of the Jealous Man and Woman

The Cathedral of St. Peter & Paul at Newtown, in Trim is the second of my suggestions for great sites to visit off the beaten track. The Cathedral was founded by the Norman Bishop, Simon de Rochfort in 1206 and was given to the Augustinians.

Although only parts of the nave and chancel survive today, it is easy to get the impression of just how massive this cathedral would have been. You can still see many of the fine decorative flourishes in the stonework, and it has lovely lancet windows. The piscina where the priest used to wash the holy vessels during the mass is also still well preserved. 

The site is famous for the remarkable 16th Century tomb of Sir Lucas Dillon and his wife, Lady Jayne Bathe. The two stone effigies on the tomb are separated by a sword of state. The tomb is known locally as 'The Tomb of the Jealous Man and Woman', it is believed that instead of signifying the sword of state, the sword actually represents Sir Lucas' displeasure at his wife for having an affair, forever separating the two. It is believed that the tomb possesses a cure for warts and skin complaints. Rub your wart on a pin and leave the pin on top of the tomb, as the pin rusts the wart withers and falls off. I cannot speak personally for whether this works, but I did notice a large number of pins on the tomb!
The tomb has some unusual scenes depicted on each side
This site is certainly worth paying a visit. It is located very close to the magnificent Trim Castle, and if the weather is fine you can take the beautiful and atmospheric River Walk. From the car-park below Trim Castle, cross the small wooden bridge, past the Yellow Steeple and Sheep's Gate, keep following the path as it meanders alongside the River Boyne and after about 15 minutes you will reach the Cathedral.

Very close to the Cathedral is another superb medieval site – the Priory of St.John the Baptist, I'll cover that site next week.


As always if there are any sites you recommend or that you would like me to cover please send me an email at info@abartaaudioguides.com and if you'd like to enjoy the sensational story of Ireland you can download one of our audioguides from www.abartaaudioguides.com (also available on iTunes, Amazon Mp3, Sony Quirocity and Eircom Music Hub). The guides are as enjoyable from the comfort of your favourite armchair at home as they are at the sites.