Situated on a slight rise in the valley of a small NW-SE stream that joins with many others to enter the River Blackwater close to Kells. Although Loughan of Castlekeeran is a parish in Meath diocese, a large part of it is in Co. Cavan. A church at this location in the deanery of Kells is not listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire, 6, 260-1), or by Ussher (Erlington 1847-64, lxxxvii-xc) or by Dopping (Ellison 1973, 7-9), indicating that the church might have been long defunct by the 13th century or be post-medieval in date. According to Lewis (1837, 2, 297) there was no Church of Ireland church in the parish of Loghan, the members in Cavan going to Virginia and those in Meath attending at Kells. The site of the medieval parish church would probably be in a townland with the parish name and a graveyard is marked on the 1836 and 1906 eds of the OS 6-inch map here at Loughan.
This is a circular graveyard (dims 49.3m N-S; 47m E-W) defined by an earthen bank (Wth c. 2 3m; H 1-1.4m) with trees and an external stone facing. The centre of the graveyard is a raised subcircular or D-shaped area (diam. 29.2m E-W; 25m N-S) defined by a fosse (Wth of top 5.2m; Wth of base 1.9m; ext. D 0.8m; int. D 0.6m) SW-NW, an earthen bank (Wth 2.6-3.4m; int. H 0.2-0.4m; ext. H 0.5-0.7m) N-SE and a straight quarry scarp (H 2m) separated by a berm (max. Wth 8m) from the graveyard bank SE-SW where the mound has probably been removed. There is a path (Wth 1.5-1.8m) between the graveyard bank and the perimeter of the rath. The only evidence of a church is a piece of sandstone (dims 0.22m x 0.2; H 0.26m) in the E quadrant with a crude rebate for a door.
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: 10 December, 2014Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.