The church at Robertstown is situated on a fairly level landscape within a rectangular graveyard (dims c. 37m NE-SW: c. 35m NW-SE) defined by earthen banks (Wth c. 5m; H c. 1m) and hedges. The path (Wth c. 3m) connecting it with a public road c. 30m to the W is bordered by similar banks. The church is an estate chapel serving the Barnwall manor of Robertstown, and is probably a late foundation associated with the late 16th or early 17th century castle (ME011-006----) c. 250m to the SSW rather than the motte (ME011-004----) c. 260m to the SW.
Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel as ruinous (Erlington 1847-64, 1, xc). The church is depicted on the Down Survey (1656-8) barony map of Kells where Robertstown is a part of Kilbeg parish, and the terrier or commentary of the Kilbeg parish map describes it as a church out of repair. This is confirmed in the Civil Survey description (1654-6) (Simington 1940, 307). According to Dopping’s Visitation Book (1682-5) St. Bridget’s church had been ruined since 1641 and it was not enclosed. James Moore was the rector in the 1680s and Thomas Tucker was rector in 1693 (Ellison 1973, 8). For the Down Survey barony map of Kells see this web-page accessed on 9 July, 2014 http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down-survey-maps.php#bm=Kells&c=Meath
The church (int. dims 12.8m E-W; 6.1m N-S) is defined by a spread of cairn material (Wth 2.8-4.4m; H 0.2-0.8m) and no features or even wall-facings can be identified. Two curved sandstone pieces (dims 0.2m x 0.18m; C 0.78m) from a pointed doorway have no rebates or chamfers and are on the ground just S of the church. Two graveslabs are exposed in pits (D 0.2-0.7m) at the NE (dated 1618) and SE (dated 1688) angles of the church, and a cross (current H 1.26m; Wth 0.43m) dated c. 1685 depicting a crucifixion with a winged head above it is on the N side at the entrance to the graveyard (King 1987, 300-01, 305).
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 upload/revision: 9 July 2014Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage