Medieval Maguire History

Medieval Maguire

These items represent our Medieval Maguire section of the Fermanagh 100

1. Devenish High Cross

In Situ

Devenish High Cross is one of the most ambiguous monuments at any Irish monastic site. Its style suggests a date of c.1520-40, placing it in the reign of Cúchonnacht Maguire, King of Fermanagh, who died in 1537. It is just possible that Cúchonnacht Maguire is the figure shown on the lower south side of the cross – patrons sometimes could be shown in such a subsidiary position.

Commissioned Researcher: Dr Jenifer Ní GhrádaighHigh Cross, Devenish Island. FCM M02117 ©Fermanagh County Museum © HOYFM.WAG.1653 ©National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

2. Annals of Ulster by Cathal MacManus Maguire


The Annals of Ulster are a chronicle of medieval Irish history, arranged as individual annual entries – hence the name ‘annals’. The Annals were compiled in Fermanagh in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries under the patronage of the Maguires, lords of Fermanagh. They contain short entries in chronological sequence on key people and events in Irish history from the fifth to the sixteenth century.

Commissioned Researcher: Dr Bernadette Cunnigham

MS Rawl B 489 Fol 6R Small
Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Rawlinson B 489, fol. 6r. Annals of Ulster for the years AD 588-600.

3. Illustrated Siege Map of Enniskillen by John Thomas c. 1594

British Library

The Siege Map of Enniskillen was created by John Thomas c. 1594. It depicts the siege at Enniskillen castle where the Crown commander, Captain John Dowdall, stands openly in the centre of the action directing the siege in the face of his enemy. No living Gaelic defenders are depicted in the illustration conveying the message that rebelling against the crown results in death.

Commissioned Researcher: Paul Logue

 C13343 69 Copyright The British Library Board Cotton Augustus I Ii 39 Online SmallC13343-69 © The British Library Board , Cotton Augustus I. ii. 39

4. Dunvegan Cup

Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye

The Dunvegan Cup is a metal mounted wooden cup. An inscription on the cup dates it to 1493, being made for katherine O'Neil, wife of John Maguire, Lord of Fermanagh. The cup links the O'Neil and Maguire families and also shows the links between Ireland and Scotland. One distinct feature of the cup is that it's legs are anthropomorphised, depicted legs with shoes.

5. Pewter Bottle from Inishmacsaint Graveyard

Armagh County Museum NMNI

This bottle or cruet is made from pewter which is a metal alloy consisting of roughly 4% lead, with the remainder being largely tin. The cruet is registered as having been ‘found many years since in the old burial ground of Ennismacsaint on one of the islands of Lough Erne, county Fermanagh’. It is just over four inches high, flat-based, with a globular body, with two small handles.  Originally it would, have had a cap or lid which is indicated by the screw marks on the neck. Dating has been given as the 16th century.

Commissioned Researcher: Dr Peter Harbison

ARMCM641935 Copyright National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Armagh County Museum OnlineARMCM.64.1935 ©National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Armagh County Museum

6. Cross of Clogher

Monaghan County Museum

Copy Fermanagh County Museum

The Cross of Clogher dates to between the 12th and 14th century AD. The cross is made of oak with bronze panels riveted on to it. The panels are decorated with Christian symbols including a depiction of the crucifixtion and religious figures. The cross came from Slawin church and was then subsequently displayed at St Macartin's college, before it was given on loan to Monaghan County Museum.

Commissioned Researcher: Danielle Wilson Higgins

Clogher Cross 1040 Lo Res Copyright Monaghan Museum © Monaghan County Museum

7. Carved Stone from Gothic Window, Inishkeen Island

Fermanagh County Museum

This carved window from the church at Inishkeen Island depicts the legend about St James of Compostela. The window is in the Gothic style and there is a carving with a scallop design which is the symbol of the apostle and martyr, St James the Greater, on it's left side and on the right standing in the prow of a boat is a curly headed angel (identified by large wings), wearing a ring-like ornament hanging from a broad neck band. The medieval church that the window was part of dates to the 15th century.

Commissioned Researcher: Helen Lanigan Wood

Inishkeen carved stone M11427 Niea© Northern Ireland Environment Agency

8. Duanaire Mheig Ghuidir

Det Kondelige Bibliotek Copenhagen

The Duanaire Mheig Ghuidir is a poembook that was written in the Many of the poems composed by professional poets in honour of Cú Chonnacht Mág Uidhir were written down. Cú Chonnacht Mág Uidhir (Maguire) (d.1589) was a leading Gaelic lord in late sixteenth-century Ulster. Some 24 compositions have survived to the present time in a vellum manuscript now in the Royal Library in Copenhagen.

Commissioned Researcher: Dr Bernadette Cunnigham

9. The Flight of the Earls by Tadhg Ó Cianáin

 University College Dublin

This manuscript which was compiled by Tadhg Ó Cianáin tells the story of the Flight of the Earls. It depicts the more mondane aspects of this infamous event including what they ate, what they drank and what villages and towns they stopped at. Ó Cianáin was a member of a Irish learned family who were originally erenaghs of the parish of Cleenish, Lough Erne, but who had served for several centuries as historians to Mag Uidir of Fear Manach (Fermanagh)

Commissioned Researcher: Dr Hiram Morgan

10. Domhnach Airgid

National Museum of Ireland

The Domhnach Airgid is a reliquary that was made to hold a small book or manuscript. The oldest part of the shrine is thought to date to the 8th century with the later metal detailing being added in the 14th century. The shrines depicts various saints surrounding a central crucifixtion figure.  The name of the shrine translates as silver church which indicates it significance at that time.

Commissioned Researcher: Paul Mullarkey