Situated on a slight rise on the N bank of the NW-SE Moynalty River with the stream c. 50m to the SW just outside the perimeter of the graveyard. A church at Moynalty is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 260). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel as ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxxvii). According to Dopping’s Visitation (1682 5) the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Moynalty had been out of repair since 1641, although it was enclosed (Ellison 1973, 8). Some of the names of the clergy are known (Cogan 1862-70, 2, 327). The site of the medieval parish church is probably on the site of the present Church of Ireland church of St. Mary, which was built in 1819 (Lewis 1837, vol. 2, 404 05) but which has since been de-consecrated. Its 19th century font is now at St Comumba's Church of Ireland church in Kells (ME017-044024-). The Moynalty church is at the N angle of a rectangular graveyard (dims c. 78m NE SW; c. 53m NW SE) defined by masonry walls. There is no evidence of an older structure, apart from one piece of window tracery. The motte (ME011-014----) is c. 200m to the SE. Archaeological testing (96E0264) uncovered 16 burials under the floor of the present church structure (Murphy 1997).
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: 11 December, 2014Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage