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Situated at the edge of a S-facing slope down to a W-E section of the SW-NE River Boyne, with the stream c. 100m to the S. A church at Domnowe is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 261). Ussher (1622) describes the church as reasonably repaired but the chancel as ruinous (Erlington 1847-64, 1, xciv). According to Dopping’s Visitation (1682-5) St. Catherine’s church at Dunmoe was in ruins since 1641 and the graveyard was not enclosed (Ellision 1973, 5).
The church is within a subrectangular graveyard (dims c. 35m N-S; c. 30-35m E-W) defined by masonry walls with headstones dating from c. 1722 - c. 1920. The nave (ext. dims 11.5m E-W; 6.8m N-S) and chancel (ext. L 5.7m) of this church are possibly divided as traces of a cross-wall ar present. The W wall with a pointed window and an external square hood moulding, and part of the S wall with a mural stairs to the rood-loft survive (mex. ext. dims of church c. 17m E-W; 6.8m N-S).
A pointed doorway (Wth 1m) towards the W end of the S wall is the only access to the church from outside, and a round-headed doorway (Wth 0.86m) further E on the S wall leads to a chamber (ext. dims 6.05m N-S; 4.72m E-W) with a N-S barrel-vault, which is a later addition. The chamber has a light in the E wall and a blocked light on the S wall. A passage (L 1.9m; Wth 0.75m) in the floor leads underground from the N to a burial vault (int. dims 2.95m E-W; 2.8m N-S), which has a N-S barrel-vault. The plain, octagonal, limestone font (ext. dim. 0.62m; H 0.38m) with a circular, straight-sided basin (diam. 0.46m; D 0.22m) and two receding mouldings underneath that was in the church (Roe 1968, 115) is now at the Roman Catholic church of St. Oliver Plunkett, in St. Mary’s Park in Navan (ME025-038----). Dunmoe castle (ME025-018002-) is immediately adjacent outside the graveyard to the E.
The abpve 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: 16 December, 2014
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage