ME01805 - CULMULLIN - Church

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Situated on a gentle NW-facing slope. A church at Kulmolyn is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire., 5, 255). Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel as ruinous (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxvi). According to the Dopping (1682-5) and Royal (1693) visitations the walls of the church and chancel of St Martin’s were standing but it was roofless since 1641 and the graveyard was not enclosed (Ellison 1972, 4). The parish church of Culmullin is within a five-sided graveyard (max. dims c. 70m WNW-ESE; c. 37-60m NNE-SSW) defined by masonry walls, with the apex at N and a WNW-ESE lane outside the perimeter at S. The headstones date from 1739 to 1966, and one with a prayer in Gaelic dating from 1739 is known (McClenaghan (1921-25). The dimensions of the church are unclear but Cogan (1862-70, 2, 351) records the nave as ’84 feet by 18 feet (c. 25.6m x c. 5.5m)’ separated by a chancel arch from a chancel ’15 feet long (c. 5.6m)’. The foundations of an E-W building (dims c. 26m E-W; 5.5m N-S) survive as grass-covered walls (max. H 0.6m) and banks, with opposing doorways towards the W end, but all evidence of a chancel arch is now gone. A rectangular mortuary enclosure (ext. dims 5m E-W; 5m N-S) defined by masonry walls and railings obscures the E end, which could extend 4m further E (total L c. 30m E-W). The foundations of a sacristy are evident as a grass-covered platform (dims 4.7m E-W; 4m N-S) defined by scarps (H 0.2m at E and W to 1m at N) attached to the N side of the mortuary enclosure. The font (ME043-017002-) (ibid. 351; Roe 1968, 112) is now in the grounds of Culmullin House (ME043-018001-), c. 250m 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 revision: 23 March, 2015

Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

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53.4929, -6.62297

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