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Situated on the crest of a N and E-facing slope, with a W-E section of the River Boyne c. 100m to the N and a small S-N section of a stream in a fold c. 50m to the E. The parish of Assey was established 1250-1300 (O’Neill 2002, fig. 5) and a church at Athboy (sic) listed in the ecclesiastic taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV may be a misprint for Assey from its position in the list (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 255). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel of Athsey as ruinous (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxviii). According to Dopping (1682-5) the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was in ruins since 1641 and it was not enclosed (Ellison 1972, 7).
The parish church of Assey is within a neglected subrectangular or D-shaped graveyard (dims c. 50m NW-SE; c. 35m NE-SW) defined by masonry walls. The graveyard has a few headstones dating c. 1744-1820. The foundations of an undivided nave and chancel church (int. dims. 14.3m E-W; 6.3m N-S) survive, with cairn material around the base of a tower (int. dims 3.25m N-S; 2.15m E-W; H c. 3m) at its W end. One piece of a window surround (dims 0.25m; x 0.18m; H 0.31m) with a glazing-groove and hollow chamfers is in the church.
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: 9 January 2015
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage