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Situated at the E end of a low W-E ridge or spur with a NW-SE section of the River Boyne c. 85m to the NE. It is located c. 300m SE of Trim castle (ME036-048004-), and it has been admirably described by Potterton (2005, 242-6). The hospital of St Mary Magdalene is first recorded in 1335 (Lee 1966-7, 146), and the chaplains of the chapel within Trim castle (ME036-048052-) were invariably also chaplains to this church. It seems to have been acquired by the Franciscans (ME036-048025-) in the later 15th century and 22 acres at Mawdelynsfeld was amongst their possessions in 1540 (White 1943, 307). The church and graveyard were granted to Sir Thomas Cusack of Lismullin in 1543. Dopping (1682-5) lists ‘Mary Magdalene, now Maudlins’, as a chapel of St. Patrick’s parish church in Trim (ME036-048012-) (Ellison 1972, 8).
This is a divided nave (int. dims 10.25m; E-W; 5m N-S; ext. dims 13m E-W; 6.85m N-S) and chancel (int. dims 4.65m E-W; 4.35m N-S; ext. dims 5.6m E-W; 5.05m N-S) structure reduced to the conserved bases of the walls (Wth 0.9m; H 0.8-1m) and the round chancel arch (Wth 1.7m; H 2.2m). There are opposing doorways just W of the centre of the N (Wth 1.05m) and S (Wth 0.75m) walls. Part of the head of a two-light cusped ogee-headed window and the capital of a column with a carved face are preserved at the church. The church is within a triangular grass-covered area (dims c. 80m WNW-ESE; c. 40m NNE-SSW) defined by masonry walls with the apex at E, but only two headstones, now in the church, survive. One has the incised date 1770.
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: 16 February 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.