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Foxhall Stone Man

Foxhall Stone Man is in the Foxhall Glebe church which is located within the demesne land of Foxhall, the former home of the Fox family. The church is all that remains of the architectural activity of Sir Nathaniel who was granted the lands of Rathreagh in 1620, where he later built Foxhall House.

The now-roofless 17th century Church of Ireland church is situated within a graveyard. A plaque over the doorway, dating from 1772, commemorates the extensive refurbishment and enlargement of the church, including an elaborate Classical-style doorway.

The interior of the church is dominated by the sarcophagus of Nathaniel Fox, which dates from 1634. A canopied structure forms the backdrop to a limestone altar tomb surmounted by an effigy of Sir Nathaniel, depicted as a knight in full armour lying on his side. The head and left leg of the effigy have been lost, leaving only the torso and thigh.

Originally the head would have been propped on the right arm. Behind the figure is a sophisticated Ionic structure with friezes and architectural decoration including Jacobean scrollwork, putti, urns, obelisks and the winged sphinx. A carved orb and skull are found at the knight’s feet.

A square shaped, recessed panel exhibits the Fox family coat of arms, beneath which are two shields and an inscription in Latin.

It can be translated as follows:
Here lies Nathaniel Fox, of Rathreagh, founder of this church, eldest son and heir of Patrick Fox of Moyvore in Co. Westmeath, who had as wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Hussey of Moyhussey Knight. By whom he had 8 sons and 5 daughters, of whom 8 sons and 3 daughters survived.

Patrick, son of the aforesaid Nath., sole heir, had as wife, Barbara, daughter of Lord Patrick Plunkett, Baron of Dunsany. The same Nath. and Elizabeth, lived for 25 years as man and wife, and he died at Rathreagh,2nd of Feb. A.D. 1634. Aged 46.

The church is accessible to the public.

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