Situated on a small hill at the base of the NW-facing slope of Skreen Hill. This area was part of the large parish of Skreen that Adam de Feipo, Baron of Skreen, endowed his brother Thomas with c. 1175 and which passed into the possession of the Cistercian abbey of St Mary’s in Dublin (DU018-020048-) when Thomas joined them c. 1186 (Hickey 1952). A church at Lismullin is not mentioned in the lists, and it probably only emerged from Templekeeran parish after the dissolution in 1539-40 of the nunnery of Lismullin (ME032-024----), c. 800m to the SW, and after the Ussher visitation in 1622 (Otway-Rutven 1964, 119), but it was recognised as a parish during the Civil Survey (1654-6) (Simington 1940, 58). The rectory, or post of parish priest, of Tempulkeran is amongst St Mary’s possessions in 1540 (White 1943, 19). Ussher (1622) describes Templekerran as ruined and a chapel-of-ease to Skryne (ME032-047003-), and Dopping (1682-5) says that the chapel was down and the graveyard was not enclosed (Ellison 1972, 8).
Lewis (1837, 2, 285-6) reports that Templekeeran parish is assessed with Lismullin and both had been united with Skreen since 1677 (ibid. 559). The Church of Ireland church at this site was built in 1809-11 as the parish church of the Skreen union (ibid. 559, 605). The church had been abandoned by 1911 as a new church of St Columba had been built at the roadside c. 350m to the S (OS 25-inch map), which is now also abandoned and reduced to the tower. Cogan (1862-70, 1, 276) says that the church was dedicated to St Kieran. This could be St Caomhán Breac of Clonabraney (ME015-056001-) near Loughcrew, although there is no known connection. At this site, which is still known locally as Templekeeran, the foundations (Wth 0.5-0.75m; H 0.6m) of the 19th century church (int. dims 11m plus E-W; 6.75m N-S) survive, apart from the E wall, within a subrectangular graveyard (dims c. 30-45m NE-SW; c. 40-45m N-S) defined by a stone-faced earthen bank at S and scarps with hedges on the other sides. It has headstones dating from 1733 and a stone mortar is displayed in the graveyard.
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: 23 January 2015Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.