ME00256 - LOUGHBRACKAN - Church

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Situated just off the top of a drumlin on the SE side and overlooking Lough Brackan, which is c. 350m to the NW. A parish church at Louchbrekan is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. Doc. Ire. 261), and the names of some of the clergy are known (Cogan 1862-70, 2, 294). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel as being in reasonable repair (Erlington 1847-64, 1, xcii). The church is depicted as a roofless ruin on the Down Survey (1656 8) map of Slane barony. The parish church of Loughbrackan was dedicated to St. Breccan, according to Dopping’s Visitation (1682-5) when the church was ruined and it was not enclosed (Ellison 1973, 6). The saint is probably Breacán, of whom there were many, none known to be associated with this area (Ó Riain 2011, 111-13). Part of the W gable and the remains of other walls of a small building (ext. dims 12m E-W; 7.5m N-S) survive with a doorway towards the W end of the N wall (Wth 1.3m) and a possible entrance in the S wall. There are the remains of a building (ext. dims 10m E-W; 8m N-S) erected against the W gable visible as grass-covered foundations. A D-shaped enclosure (dims c. 20m E-W; c. 10m N-S) defined by a slight scarp is attached to the N of the church. The church is situated within a grass-covered rectangular enclosure (dims 54m SE-NW; 50m SW-NE) defined by earthen banks (at N Wth 3m; int. H 0.1m; ext. H 0.9m: at W: Wth 8m; int. H 1.1m; ext. H 0.7m) on every side except the SE where there is a field bank. No headstones or grave-markers are visible, but it is known locally that burial ceased c. 1890 and bones were noted in the field bank where the sod was poached. The font from this church is now outside the Roman Catholic church at Drumcondra (ME006-009----). It is a circular sandstone (ext. diam. 0.55m; H 0.33m) with a flat-bottomed basin (int. diam. 0.43m; D 0.16-0.19m). Three lugs (max. Wth 9cm; L 21cm; H 5cm) of an original four survive, and about a quarter of the basin wall is missing. Two small holes on the rim at opposite points provided a fastening for the cover. 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. Compiled by: Michael Moore Date of revision: 6 May 2015 Amended: 15 December 2022

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

53.8326, -6.66681

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