Situated towards the top of the W-facing slope of a hill. The 12th century parish church of Cruicetown is within a subcircular graveyard (dims c. 40m NE-SW; c. 40m NW-SE) defined by a masonry wall, with traces of an internal bank N-E. A church of the vill de Cruicetoun is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 260). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel as ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxxviii). According to Dopping’s Visitation (1682-5) the church was dedicated to St. James, it had been in ruins since 1641 and it was not enclosed (Ellison 1972, 8).
The conserved church is a divided nave (int. dims 10.7m E-W; 5.55m N-S) and chancel (int. dims 6.17m E-W; 4.3m N-S) with the walls complete (Wth 0.8-0.85m; H c. 2-3m), except the N wall of the nave (H c. 1m) and chancel (H 1.3m), both of which are now featureless. The destroyed doorway is now a gap (Wth 1.19m) towards the W end of the S nave wall. There is a damaged stoup inside the doorway to the E and a destroyed window E of the doorway in the S nave wall. The chancel arch is destroyed but the piers (Wth 0.86m) are chamfered on the E side. There are round-headed windows with external rebates for shutters in the S (Wth 0.14m; H 0.79m) and E walls of the chancel, indicating a 12th century date for the church.
The chest tomb (dims 2.12m x 1.08m; H 0.8m) of Walter and Elizabeth Cruise dated 1688 with effigies of a male and female, two armorial plaques and an inscription (Cogan 1862-70, 331-2) is against the S wall of the chancel (King 1987, 290-1). A rectangular sandstone font (ext. dim. 0.58m; H 0.36m) with chamfered corners (Wth at top 0.1m) is in the nave. The circular flat-bottomed basin (diam. 0.43-0.45m; D 0.11-0.15m) has a wave-like rim that rises higher at the corners. The font is attached to a red sandstone drum (diam. 0.4m; H 0.21m), which probably does not belong with it (Roe 1968, 111-12). The piscina bowl and other dressed pieces are in the nave. There is a sandstone cross in the graveyard erected in 1688 by Patrick Cruise and Catherine Dalton. It is a ringed cross (H 2.23m; Span 1.13m) with a shaft tapering from the bottom (dims 0.44m x 0.2m) where it is set in a base (dims 0.61m x 0.62m), only the top of which is visible. The ring (ext. diam. 0.96m; int. diam. 0.91-0.93m) is plain but a Madonna and Child occupy the shaft on the E side while a Crucifixion (Harbison 2000, 68) occupies the whole of the W face. All the carving on the cross is in false relief. .
The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.
See attached image from SE.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of revision: 10 December, 2014
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.