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Located towards the bottom of a NE-facing slope, which is in a slight col with slightly higher ground c. 500m to the N. A church at Becno (sic) was valued at nothing in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-04) of Pope Nicholas IV ‘because the Hospitallers are rectors’ (Cal. doc. Ire. 5, 253), and the tithes of Pyerston Laundy als Lekne and Hylton were held by the Hospitallers of Kilmainham (DU018-020286-) at the Suppression in 1540 (White 1943, 106). The names of some of the clergy are known (Cogan 1862-70, 1, 150-1). Ussher (1622) describes the church of Lernow als Prestownelandy as in repair but the chancel was ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxvi). According to Dopping’s visitation (1682-5) the church of Piercetown Landy (Lecno) was out of repair since 1641 (Ellison 1971, 34). The parish church is within a rectangular graveyard (dims c. 45m NW-SE; c. 40m NE-SW) defined by earthen banks and trees with a road outside the perimeter at SW.
This is a nave (ext. dims 13.35m E-W; 7.7m N-S; int. dims 11m E-W; 6.15m N-S) and chancel (ext. dims c. 9m E-W; 6.25m N-S; int. dims 7.8m E-W; 4.7m N-S) structure, but only the bases of the walls survive, and there is a large mound of grass-covered cairn material (Wth 4.3m N-S; H 1.2-1.4m) on the N side of the rather sunken nave. The church has no architectural features, apart from a blocked doorway (Wth 0.85m) in the S chancel wall and what is probably a modern entrance through the S wall of the nave. There are some window-surrounds and part of a pointed arch re-used as grave-markers in the graveyard. However, a truncated conical stone (diam. of top 0.32m; diam. of base 0.45m; H 0.32m) that is perforated (SMR file, 1984), is no longer present. It has five ribs on the sides and a cordon at the narrower end; it may have been part of the shaft of a font.
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 February, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.