St Mochulla's graveyard is located on top of the hill of Tulla. The graveyard is on the ruins of St. Mochulla's monastic settlement which dated back to the 7th century. This graveyard is a multi-denomination graveyard as it includes both Protestant and Catholic graves. It was the home of St Mochulla and his monastic community until it was demolished and the monks were driven out in the 13th century. The hill later was home to a Catholic Church and after the Reformation, a Protestant Church which was abandoned in or about 1812. The earliest known grave is the Molony vault which noted that James Molony was buried in or about 1702. However, there is local folklore that maintains that earlier burials most likely took place.
The graveyard is divided into two sections: the old section which comprises the church ruin and the settlement walls to the east, west and south. The new section of the graveyard is enclosed across from the old main road of the graveyard to the north section. Looking at the drone photo above, the old section is the left side of the circle, the new section is the right side of the circle.
The old section of the graveyard comprises over 634 headstones. The new sectiion comprises over 300 headstones. These are all available to view online through the Historic Graves website-- a community led initiative by Eachtra in 2012 which trained local volunteerrs associated with the Ireland Reaching Out programme to photograph, record and transcribe the headstones in both graveyards in the parish.
Many of these graves do not only commemorate local Tulla families but also a number of families in the surrounding parish areas.
The graveyard has some archaeological items of note including a bullaun stone, and these were noted by Franc Myles, Archaeologist in 2005.
The graveyard is associated with a well-known story of having a pig buried within it. A man by the name of O'Sullivan was attacked by a boar who attacked and killed him. The pig had so mangled the man that he had to buried with him in the local graveyard. The headstone associated with this story is that of Michael O'Sullivan and graveyard reference https://historicgraves.com/tulla/cl-tula-0141/grave
Many thanks to Clare Virtually for permission to use the photo.
|Archaeologist Franc Myles
|Historic Graves project 2012
|County Clare Graveyard Survey
|Find A Grave website