Rathkenny Old Cemetery, Meath, Ireland

The ruins of the 18th century Church of Ireland structure at Rathkenny disguise the presence of foundations of an earlier medieval catholic church in the same enclosure. This church may have dated from the beginning of the 14th century as it is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation of Pope Nicholas IV (1302-06). This church seems to have fallen into disrepair in the early 17th century and may have been known as the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the ‘Dopping and Royal Visitations’ (1682-93) describe a church of that name in this area as ‘in ruins’.

The church that we see today was built in the mid 18th century and it has a striking west doorway with a dressed limestone architrave styled in a Georgian fashion. A redbrick fireplace stands between the two rectangular windows on the north wall. It is uncertain when this church fell into ruin and efforts have been made in the past 20 years to preserve its structure and the graveyard surrounding it. The graveyard is home to a mausoleum and several curious gravestones.

GPS: 53.74667, -6.64551

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