I have passed by this picturesque little church and burial ground a couple of times before, but each time it was overrun with ramblers and families with children. Being somewhat misanthropic and perhaps a tad pretentious, when out on these trips I tend towards wanting to experience the sites either on my own or in the company of close friends, I guess that is why more ruins exist on this site than staffed stately homes! However last Sunday I was gifted the opportunity to ramble around the Bishop’s Lane Burial Ground – also known as the Old Kilternan Church – undisturbed. Bishops’ Lane itself is a fantastic route to drive, incredibly winding with more sharp angles than my nerves can handle at times, but the way it ascends the mountain is breathtaking and knowing that its one of the most ancient highways in the area adds to the vibe.
The ruins of the church at Bishop’s Lane date from the 12th century (possibly around 1180) and is listed in parish records from as early as 1406. In 1630 the parish was amalgamated with Bray and the land passed into the hands of the Fitzwilliams. During subsequent years the church fell into disrepair but both the land surrounding and the interior of the church itself were used for graves at least up to the 1700’s.
Bishop’s Lane Burial Ground is a small but perfect site, from certain angles I get the impression the church has sunk deep into the ground though I know this isn’t the case! A lovely place to explore and deathly quiet bar the sound of a stream that runs nearby.
GPS: 53.23501, -6.20268