Situated on a rise in an undulating landscape. The parish church of Kilsany, now called Kilshine from Ceall Shinche – the cell of Sineach, is marked on the Down Survey (1656-8) barony map of Morgallion. Sineach was a daughter of Fionnbharr and descended from the Conall Cearnach, and is known from a Life of St. Abban of Adamstown, Co. Wexford (WX031-023----) (Cogan 1862-7, 2, 284; Ó Riain 2011, 564). A church at Kilsenny is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 261). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel of Kilshenny as ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, xcvii). According to the Royal Visitation (1693) the church of St. Jane had been a ruin for 40 years and it was not fenced, although the font was noted (Ellison 1973, 4-5).
The present Church of Ireland church of St. Sinche, known locally as Cill Insha, was built in 1815 with a spire (Lewis 1837, vol. 2, 209), but it is now a shell within a rectangular graveyard (dims c. 45m N-S; c. 30m E-W) defined by masonry walls. The spire is beginning to suffer from the weather, but there is no evidence of an older structure. The circular font (ext. diam. 0.63m; int. diam. 0.43m; H 0.61m; D 0.25m) with three short legs from this site (Roe 1968, 121-2) is now at the graveyard of St. Columba’s Church of Ireland church, in Kells (ME017-044040-). The circular field pattern (diam. c. 250m) around the graveyard would relate to the older church or might indicated the low-points in the surrounding landscape.
For the Down Survey barony map see this web page accessed on 22 May, 2014. http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down survey maps.php#bm=Morgallion&c=Meath
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, 2014
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage