Located towards the top of the NE-facing slope of a hill. A church at Brun is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 253). At the Suppression in 1540 the rectory, or office of parish priest, with 20 acres was vested in St. Mary’s Cistercian abbey in Dublin, and Edward Dowdall of Broniston was a witness at an inquiry (White 1943, 17, 19). According to Ussher (1622) the church and chancel were ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxvii). According to Dopping’s Visitation (1682-5) the parish church of St. Michael at Brownstown was unrepaired since 1641 and it was not enclosed (Ellison 1971, 35). In 1640 the whole parish of Brownstown, consisting of the townlands of Brownstown and Realtoge amounting to almost 700 acres was the property of Nicholas Dowdall (Simington 1940, 42 3). A large stone house at Brownstown is the only item recorded on the Down Survey (1656-8) parish map and its terrier or commentary. For the Down Survey barony map of Duleek see this web page accessed on 4 July, 2014 http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down survey maps.php#bm=Duleek&c=Meath
The grass-covered foundations of an E-W building (int. dims 13.35m E-W; 5.75m N-S) with possible doorways towards the W end of the N and S walls is within a neglected subrectangular graveyard (dims c. 40m N-S; c. 40m E-W) with rounded corners defined by masonry walls that has a small number of headstones dating from 1786 to 1934. Cogan (1862-70, 1, 347-8) records that the chancel arch stood 20 feet (c. 6m) from the E end of the church and that there was a tomb here of Catherine Plunkett, a daughter of Mathew Plunkett, baron of Louth, which would date c. 1700, but this tomb was not identified.
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: 22 December, 2014Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.