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William Murphy
Double Take

Double Take: The easy-to-miss cemetery in Dublin city with a spelling mistake at the entrance

The cemetery is 326 years old.

LOCATED ON MERRION Row, among cafes, restaurants and other businesses, is a 326-year-old cemetery.

A busy street for office workers and tourists alike, it’s easy to pass by Huguenot Cemetery without noticing that it’s there. Railings and gates form its boundary onto the road, while a concrete block overhead states the area’s name… and features a spelling mistake.

Rather than reading ‘Huguenot Cemetery’, the concrete block reads ‘Hughenot Cemetery’. According to You Who, the mistake was made in 1936 when Dublin Corporation (now Dublin City Council) removed some of the plot to the front of the cemetery to align it with existing buildings on the street. 

Built in 1693, the cemetery was the burial place for Huguenots who left France for Ireland to escape religious prosecution, as reported by Built Dublin. For the next 208 years – until 1901 – it is thought that more than 600 people were buried here. However, only 34 headstones remain.

gm Google Maps Google Maps

In 1888, the Huguenot Society erected a porch at the rear of the cemetery to give the impression of a church in the distance, reports You Who. A plaque beside it reads: “Erected in loving memory of those who mortal remains have been laid within this cemetery.”

To the right of the entrance gate to the cemetery is a tablet which reads: “The Huguenot cemetery – founded in 1693 by the French Huguenot non-conformist churches of Dublin and now belonging to the French Huguenot Fund. Restored in 1988 through a grant from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with FÁS.”

Today, the cemetery is closed to the public and is maintained by Dublin City Council. Passersby can get a good look at the cemetery through the railings and gates, while a large plaque on the left wall lists the surnames of the 239 people buried there. Of the 239 surnames one is Becquett, a relation of the writer Samuel Beckett, according to Lonely Planet

More Double Take: The mystery of the billiard-playing monkeys at the National Library of Ireland

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