On Wednesday 9th July a beautiful new display-board was erected in the entrance area of the Black Mills in Roscrea.
It displays a copy of rubbings made last year by Gunther Wolters from the OPW of two carvings on the jambs of the east window of the Round Tower. These stones were carved in the early part of the twelfth century, while the Round Tower was under construction, for inclusion on either jamb of the east window. On the right hand side there is a clearly outlined ship and cross carved in relief. Meticulous recent study has shown them to be symbols of Christ and his Church. The ship has from earliest Christian times been the symbol of the Church, and here it symbolizes Christ (the cross) calming the rough seas and telling his disciples in the ship of the Church: “It is I. Do not be afraid.” This carved stone measures 82 cm in width and 38 cm in height. On the left hand jamb, the other carving, much weathered, is of interlaced ovals, believed to symbolize the divine and human natures in Christ, In other words that He is both God and man. Round Towers were Christian buildings. Occasionally one of their windows was used to display relics on special occasions. But of all the Round Towers in the country only Roscrea’s had a special “holy” window for this purpose, and it is there for 800 years.” Written by Dom Laurence Walsh OCSO.
Meanwhile, Roscrea Castle, Damer House & Blackmills is open for the 2014 season. Guided tours will be available on request. The Castle and Damer House will open seven days per week until Wednesday the 24th of September. Roscrea Castle consists of a gate tower, curtain wall and two corner towers dating from the 1280’s. Damer House was built in the early 18th century in the Queen Anne style. It is an example of prepalladian architecture The restored mill displays the original St Cronan’s High Cross and pillar stone. Exhibition panels are also on display. The first Wednesday of each month is free for all to visit. The opening times are 10am to 6pm each day with the last guided tour taking place at 5pm. Contact details are as follows. Phone: (0505)21850. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org