Glasnevin Cemetery – Ireland’s Largest Necropolis

"The Liberator"

Since the gates first opened on the 21st of February 1832 people have been dying to get in here. There has been a total of 1.5 million people interned in the the graveyard. To give that a little context, Dublin city has a current population of half a million people. This makes Glasnevin one of the most densely populated areas on the planet.

The graveyard is beautiful with a very rich history. It has become a major tourist attraction. This may seem a little macabre but just a few meters from the main entrance you are confronted with monuments and graves that bare the names of some of the most important people in the history of modern Ireland. These include the graves of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Pádraig Ó Domhnaill, Seán MacBride, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Frank Duff, Brendan Behan, Christy Brown and Luke Kelly

The graveyard is surrounded by a high stonewall and watch towers. These serve as a grim reminder of the popularity of body snatching and grave robbing of the late 18th century.  The graves and monuments offer an interesting insight into the changing fashions for grave marking over the last 200 years. In the newest parts of the cemetery there is highly polished Italian marble headstones. Step a little further back in time and you see the large Celtic crosses with a hint of nationalism and all the way back at the foundation of the plot you find refined, stone monuments that speak of a more austere time.

The Glassnevin Trust has made a huge effort in building a world class museum and Genealogical archive on the site. The daily tours of the historical site are very popular. Since the cemetery is still in use one of the strangest sights you can hope to see is the guided tours being held alongside the arrival of a funeral possession.

If you happen to visit Dublin I would suggest that this place really is worth a visit.

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure:4 seconds

"The Liberator""The Liberator""The Liberator" "The Liberator"

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138

Various Exposure Time.

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13 thoughts on “Glasnevin Cemetery – Ireland’s Largest Necropolis

    1. It’s worth a visit alright, it very big with lots of little bits of eye catching detail. One of the photographers that was with me took a little to much delight in pointing out all the graves she found that have my surname on them 🙂

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      1. yikes that’s creepy! I love visiting cemeteries. I don’t know what that says about me. I regret not going to the Père Lachaise Cemetery while in Paris.

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