Church Monuments Society

dingley 1

“Fantastical Monuments”: Thomas Dingley’s ‘Observations’ in Ireland 1680-81



Online event

Part of the April-May 2021 mini-series of free lectures providing an introduction to the Church Monuments Society: a talk by Dr Amy Louise Harris.

“In the churchyard is seen the fantastical monument” – The Observations of the English antiquary Thomas Dingley and his Voyage through the Kingdom of Ireland in 1680-81.

Thomas Dingley (also spelt Dineley) was an Englishman who visited Ireland for twelve months from 1680-81. He left behind a record of his travels in the form of a manuscript (MS 392) which is now in the National Library of Ireland. It is chiefly famous for its sketches which cover a wide variety of subjects including castles, civic buildings, cathedrals, churches and the subject of this lecture: funerary monuments. Unfortunately many today no longer exist, or they do so in a dilapidated state, hence the importance of his record.

The lecture will show the importance of Dingley’s sketches of funerary monuments which range from memorial brasses to wall monuments. Recent research has revealed that Dingley wrote his journal as a chorographical survey of the O’Brien Thomond lands of Limerick and Clare but also included accounts of his visits to Dublin and Youghal where he employs his antiquarian skills in recording their funerary monuments.

Dr Amy Harris is a graduate of University College Dublin and the University of Sussex. Her main interest is funerary monuments in Ireland 1560-1660 on which she has written numerous papers for Irish and English journals. She is currently working on an edition of Thomas Dingley’s Irish journal for the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

Event Information

This online talk is FREE to all and will take place on Zoom. Places must be booked via Eventbrite – go to to register.

This is the sixth in a series of online talks April-May 2021 that aims to provide an introduction to the Church Monuments Society.