Athlumney Church, Meath, Ireland

Athlumney houses the remains of several structures which were built over its lifespan as a manorial village based just outside Navan. Athlumney is an important place strategically as it overlooks the Boyne and is close to a river crossing. The first structure built in Athlumney was a Motte built in or around 1172 when Hugh de Lacy granted the lands to his ally Adam de Phiepo who in turn granted them to his relation Amauri de Phiepo.

The church was built for the tenants of Amauri’s manor at some point during the 13th century. The church measured 2 metres by 8 metres and houses a double bell cote. The church stands in the shadow of Athlumney Castle which I was unable to visit the same day as the person listed as possessing the key wasn’t home and there was no way of scaling the 12 foot wall! One of the most interesting features of this graveyard is a stone slab marking the grave of a 15th century knight, known as ‘Cheevers-Goff Stone’, this grave has the worn crest of the knight and is embossed with a skull and crossbones. It was common practice for centuries to place the coffin of the newly deceased on top of ‘Cheevers-Goff Stone’ while De Profundis was recited prior to burial.

It appears that the church was destroyed around the time of the civil war of 1641 but was still used as a place of worship until 1789. The grounds also host the tomb of Peter Metge a Huguenot who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland during the 18th century. The graveyard itself seems to still be in use. 

GPS: 53.65026, -6.67657

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