Bell of Fenagh – Latest Update Following Fire at St Mels, Longford

We have recently been informed by the National Museum of Ireland that unfortunately the Bell of Fenagh has not been recovered following the fire at St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford 2010. The NMI team could only find the iron
attachment on which it was suspended.

This is a tremendous loss for Fenagh. It was older than the Annals of the four masters written in 1244 which has reference to it. The circular form of its mouth made it probable that it was later than the Bell of Armagh which is dated at the beginning of the 10th century. The nature of its decoration indicated that it was later than the Tara brooch and the Ardagh Chalice which were made around the middle of the 9th century. The Bell of Fenagh was probably made between 1050 and 1150.

The Bell passed down through the centuries by the O’Rodachain’s Coarbs of St. Caillin and then on to the parish priests of Fenagh.

We are lucky to have taken a beautiful photo of the Bell which is displayed in Fenagh Visitor Centre and the hope would be to create a model of the Bell of Fenagh to showcase in the Centre now that the original is lost

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