Collierstown townland is called Caillaghton in the extent of St. Mary’s abbey in Duleek (ME027-038028-) (White 1943, 318) and variously as Calleaghtown, Calliaghtowne and Callistowne in the Civil Survey (1654-6) (Simington 1940, 24) and the Down Survey (1656-8) maps. This is derived from Cailleach, meaning a hag, or in this context, possibly a nun. St. Mary's of Duleek was an Arrouaisian foundation with both male and female denizens, and the canonesses may have been moved to Collierstown in this instance as in others (Hadcock 1964, 128).
It is located towards the top of the S-facing slope of the ENE-WSW ridge of Bellewstown. A divided nave and chancel church with a blocked doorway in the S wall was discovered in excavation by M. O hEanaigh of the National Museum of Ireland in 1934. Extended burials, some in slab-lined graves and pre-dating the church structure, were also recorded as well as small cists containing skulls, one of which was trepanned. Finds included ringed pins, jet bracelets, bronze buckles, a slate spindle whorl, and flints (SMR file). The excavations were back-filled and there is now no evidence of a structure, although locals sometimes find bones.
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 upload/revision: 7 August, 2014Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.