ME01480 - STAFFORDSTOWN - Church

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A church at Staffordstown together with Follistown (ME025-037----) is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 256). Ussher (1620) describes the church and chancel at Staffordstown as reasonably repaired (Erlington 1847-64, lxxviii). According to Dopping's Visitation Book (1682-5) the church and chancel were in ruins since 1641 (Ellison 1972, 8). The church is depicted as a roofless building on the Down Survey (1656-8) barony map of Skreen. Hickey (1971, 77-8) contends that the church may have been re-dedicated in the late 16th century as a mortuary chapel of the Cussacks of Lismullin since an octagonal armorial stone (diam. c. 0.8m) from the tomb of Sir Thomas Cusack (1490-1571) at Trevet (ME038-017002-) was kept here but it is now missing. It displayed the arms of Cussack impaling Darcy with the date 1571. This might also have been the case with the font (Roe 1968 127-8) that was here until c. 1975 and is now at the Roman Catholic church in Walterstown (ME032-077----), c. 2.5km to the SE. According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Thomas Cusack owned 242 acres at Staffordstown in 1640 (Simington 1940, 66). For the Down Survey map see this web-page accessed on 14 January, 2015: The site is situated on a shelf at the bottom of a gentle S-facing slope. There is no evidence of a church within a rectangular grass-covered enclosure (dims c. 22m N-S; c. 20m E-W) defined by earthen banks (Wth 2-3m; int. H 0.2m; ext. H 0.5-0.8m) and outer fosses (Wth of top c. 2-3m; ext. D 0.2-0.4m) on three sides, and a slight scarp at S. A small rectangular area (int. dims 2m N-S; 2m E-W) defined by stone-facings and filled with stones at the NW angle of the enclosure may be a mausoleum, and Cogan (1862-70, 2, 241-2) describes it as a vault. Apart from this there is no other evidence of burial in the enclosure, although it is described as a graveyard on the 1836 and 1909 eds of the OS 6-inch map. The font is a cubic piece of white limestone (dims 0.62m x 0.62m; max. H 0.56m) that has chamfered corners and a circular, flat-bottomed basin (int. diam. 0.5m; max. D 0.32m). The rim is wave-like and the form morphs to circular (diam. 0.4m) at the bottom so that the large panels are D-shaped (max. H 0.37m) hanging from the rim. The mound (ME032-002----) is c. 50m to the SSE. 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: 10 July 2007

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

53.6277, -6.57821

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