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An Account of the Antiseptic Vaults Beneath S. Michan's Church, Dublin

An Account of the Antiseptic Vaults Beneath S. Michan's Church, Dublin

33533099
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Описание
Excerpt from An Account of the Antiseptic Vaults Beneath S. Michan's Church, Dublin: Read at the Annual Meeting of the Royal Arch?ological Institute of the Great Britain and Ireland, at Leamington

I propose to give a short account of the vaults under S. Michan's Church, Dublin, which display peculiar antiseptic properties for preserving the bodies. These furnish, I believe, considering the circumstances, an unique instance; and if we take into account the peculiarly damp nature of the Irish climate - "humid" as our physical geographers call it - which accelerates the process of decay and decomposition, it is the more to be wondered at.

S. Michan's Church is situated on the north of the river Anna Liffey. It is doubtful if there exists any of the original church. It is a cruciform structure, in a sort of a semi-classical style of last century, of the plainest possible description, with a fine old tower at the west end, with graduated battlements. This tower presents the appearance, to my mind, of having undergone a partial, if not total, rebuilding; possibly in 1686, at which date it was restored, as appears by an inscription over the west door.

The church was founded in the year 1095, by Michanus, said to be a Danish bishop, and there is a recumbent effigy, occupying a niche in the south wall, in the church, of a bishop in alb, chasuble, and mitre, holding a pastoral staff. This is supposed to represent the founder. It is of granite, but has been whitewashed over.

Before treating of the vaults, it may be interesting to mention that there is a tradition that the organ in this church is the one on which Handel first played his Messiah.

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