Thursday, 23 June 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Wiki history

Some more interesting historical facts about Tuam from Wikipedia.

Tuam (/ˈtjuːəm/ tew-əm), IrishTuaim ([t̪ˠuəmʲ]) is a town in Ireland and the second largest settlement in County Galway. It is situated west of the midlands of Ireland, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of Galway city. Human existence in the area dates to the Bronze Age while the historic period dates from the 6th century. The town became increasingly important in the 11th and 12th centuries in political and religious aspects of Ireland. The market based layout of the town and square indicates the importance of commerce.


The record of human settlement in Tuam dates back to the Bronze Age when an area adjacent to Shop Street was used as a burial ground. The name Tuam is a cognate with the Latin term tumulus (burial mound). The town's ancient name was Tuaim Dá Ghualann, i.e. the burial mound of two shoulders.
The name probably refers to the high ground on either side of the River Nanny, overlooking a probable fording point over the River Nanny (or Corchra). In 1875, a Bronze Age burial urn was discovered in the area by workmen, dating from c.1500 B.C.[7] An early glass photograph still exists.
The history of Tuam as a settlement dates from the early 6th century. Legend states that a monk called Jarlath, or Iarlaith, who was a member of a religious community at Cloonfush some 6 km (4 mi) west of Tuam and adjacent to the religious settlement at Kilbennon. Jarlath's life became uncertain as he wished to travel. Eventually, Jarlath's abbot, Saint Benan told him to "Go, and where ever your chariot wheel breaks, there shall be the site of your new monastery and the place of your resurrection". Jarlath's wheel broke at Tuam and he established a monastery there, known as the School of Tuam. As was typical with early settlements in Ireland, religious sites became established first and towns grew around them. Likewise, Tuam grew up around the monastery and has kept the broken chariot wheel as its heraldic symbol.
In 1049, when Aedh O'Connor defeated Amalgaid ua Flaithbertaigh, King of Iar Connacht, the O'Connor Kings became Kings of all Connacht. O'Connor then built a castle at Tuam and made it his principal stronghold. This event was directly responsible for the subsequent rise in the importance of the town. Its position dominated the Iar Connacht heartland of Maigh Seóla. It was however in the 12th century that the town became the centre of Provincial power during the fifty-year reign (1106–1156) of Turlough Mór O'Connor, (Tairrdelbach mac Ruaidri Ua Conchobair). He also brought Tuam its most prominent status as seat of the High King of Ireland which he achieved by force of arms during his long career.
At the Synod of Kells in 1152, the centre of government also became the ecclesiastical centre, as Tuam was erected into an Archbishopric, with Hugh O'Hession as the first Archbishop.
Turlough Mór, as High King of Ireland from 1128–1156, was a great patron of the Irish Church and it was due to his patronage that Tuam became the home of some masterpieces of 12th century Celtic art including an Bacall Buidhe. Turlough was succeeded by his son Ruaidrí (Rory), the last native High King of Ireland. In 1164, Ruaidrí had a "wonderful castle" erected, with a large courtyard defended by lofty and massive walls and a deep moat into which the adjacent river was diverted through. This was the first Irish built stone castle.[8] A small part of the castle still stands. Following the destruction of the first Cathedral in 1184, Rory O'Connor left Tuam and retired to Cong Abbey, where he entrusted the Church valuables from the Cathedral at Tuam into the care of the abbot. This left Tuam as a small settlement and it wasn't until the early 17th century that it began to grow in importance again.
Throughout history, Tuam has been an important commercial centre with fairs and markets being an important part of commerce in the region. One of its fairs dates to 1252 when Letters Patent were granted to Archbishop MacFlynn by Henry III. Other fairs were authorised by Charters granted by James I and George III.[9]
In July 1920, the town hall and other properties were burned down by armed Royal Irish Constabulary men, after two had been killed in an ambush by the Irish Republican Army near the town the day before.

The Borough of Tuam[edit]

On 30 March 1613, Tuam received a royal charter from James I which enabled the Tuam Parliamentary constituency to send two representatives to Irish House of Commons until its abolition in 1800. The town was laid out as a market town to its present plan with all the streets converging on the central square. The charter also established a formal local council with an elected sovereign and 12 burgesses. The sovereign was sworn into office at the site of the "Chair of Tuam" which is believed to be situated within the remaining tower of Rory O'Connor's castle. A monumental "Chair of Tuam" was unveiled in May 1980 by the late Cardinal Tomás O'Fiaich.[10]

The High Crosses of Tuam[edit]

High Cross of Tuam

Headpiece of the High Cross of Tuam
The High Cross of Tuam was erected in 1152 possibly to commemorate the appointment of the first Archbishop of Tuam, Archbishop Áed Ua hOissín(Hugh O'Hession). An inscription at the base calls for "A prayer for O'hOisín; for the Abbot; by whom it was made". It is reputed to have been the tallest of the High Crosses of Ireland, but its artistry is scarred by the absence of the top portion of the main shaft.[9] The sandstone Cross was originally erected in proximity to the earliest Cathedral erected in the town, a part of which still remains and is incorporated into St Mary's Cathedral (12th-century red sandstone chancel arch in Irish Romanesque style which is a National monument). The original High Cross or Market cross may have been erected close to what is now the Market Square and High Street.
When the first Cathedral collapsed after being destroyed by fire in 1184, the High Cross was dismantled into pieces, each under different ownership. The archaeologist George Petrie discovered the base of the High Cross c. 1820 and later discovered two other pieces in other locations. The High Cross contains a portion from another High Cross, the ringed cross-section on top. In addition to the Market Cross, it is likely that there were at least four other carved stone crosses from the Connor's reign in the town. An area close to the town Square, known as the Shambles, which continued to function as a market place until recently, was at one point the location of the Market Cross until 1721.[11]
The Cross was brought to Dublin for the Great Exhibition of 1852. However, prior to its return to Tuam, a disagreement arose between the two Churches. Catholic Archbishop Dr. John MacHale claimed the Cross rightfully belonged to Catholics, with Dean Charles Seymour of the Church of Ireland asserting a Protestant claim. Agreement was reached with the Cross erected half way between both Cathedrals and positioned so that it was visible from all main streets of the town. It was situated in the Square in the town centre in 1874.
By the late 1980s, it was evident that the decorative stone carving of the Cross was deteriorating due to weathering and pollution. Experts thought that there was a danger from traffic passing nearby. After lengthy discussions, the Office of Public Works removed the monument from the Square in April 1992. Following cleaning and minor restoration, the High Cross was re-erected in the south transept of St. Mary's Cathedral, where it is now situated, in proximity to its original location. St. Mary's Cathedral also houses the shaft of a third Cross fashioned from limestone. It is thought that all of the High Crosses would have marked the boundaries of the monastic section of Tuam.

Coat of arms[edit]

The red Latin cross is representative of Tuam's importance as an ecclesiastical centre. The double green flaunches at the sides, represent the two hills or shoulders of Tuam's ancient name, Tuaim Dhá Ghualainn. The two crowns recall the High Kings, Turlough and Rory O'Connor who were based in Tuam. The broken chariot wheel being a reminder of the foundation of the monastic town, when St. Jarlath's chariot wheel broke. The motto of the town, Tuath Thuama go Buan, translates as Long Live the People of Tuam.[12] ‪#‎Tuamspiritbabies‬

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