Located towards the top of a gentle S-facing slope. A church at Kilbery is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 261). The names of some of the clergy are known (Cogan 1862-70, 1, 349-50). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel as reasonably well repaired (Erlington 1847-64, 1, xcii). According to Dopping’s Visitation (1682-5) Kilberry was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, but the church was ‘ruined since (16)41’ (Ellison 1973, 5). The parish church of Kilberry is situated within a D-shaped graveyard (dims c. 90m E-W; c. 70m N-S) defined by masonry walls.
The church consists of the S, E and fragments of the N wall of a rectangular structure (ext. dims 14.3mE-W; 7.6m N-S) defined by masonry walls (Wth 1-1.2m; ext. H 1.5-2m). The E jamb of a doorway in the S wall with a keel-moulding is the only visible feature and the interior is filled with cairn material, while the present fragment of the W wall (T 0.6m) is probably a modern one.
A rectangular limestone font (dims 0.68m x 0.62m; H 0.46m) with a circular basin (diam. 0.47m; D 0.26m), which has had two angles chamfered off (Roe 1968, 123) is W of the church. A sandstone graveslab (L 2m; Wth 0.39 0.56m; H 0.15m) is E of the church and has a floriated cross incised with double lines and fleur de lis terminals. A rectangular hole (dims 0.21m x 0.21m) has been cut into the wider end of the slab. Nearby is a tomb chest with a limestone covering slab (L 2.2m; Wth 0.9m; T 0.15m), supported on one side stone and an end-panel (Wth 0.84m; H 0.76m) with a raised crucifixion that has foreshortened legs. The covering slab has a crest at the head, a skull and cross bones at the feet and an inscription commemorating Mathius Everard, who died in 1717 (Lett 1921-25). The tomb was erected by his brother and is probably the tomb described by Butler (1892, 127), writing c. 1740, as being in the graveyard (ME017-034001-) at Donaghpatrick.
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: 15 December, 2014Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage