Situated on a NW-facing slope of a prominent hillock, which was known as the Knock. The Civil Survey (1654-5) of Laracor parish records Gerratt Lynch of Knocke owning 500 acres in that townland, which would include the townlands of Summerhill and Moy, and in which there were two castles, a mill and ‘an old chapell’ (Simington 1940, 173). Dopping's Visitation Book (1682-5) lists this church as a chapel-of-ease to Laracor (ME036-044----), and records that the church was built by Bishop Henry Jones and consecrated on 25 July, 1669 (Ellison 1972, 10). There is no visible trace of the church within a circular graveyard (diam. c. 50-55m) defined by a masonry wall N-S-W, but the circuit is not completed W-N where the walls run to a NE-SW public road c. 60m to the NW. Trees grow inside the perimeter, and the headstones in the main date from the mid-18th century to the present.
The headstone (Wth 0.68m; H 0.63m; T 7-9cm) of Mary from Summerhill, dated 1689 (FitzGerald 1910), is leaning forward severely at the centre of the graveyard. The incised legend in roman letters inside a raised frame is crudely executed, the letters becoming smaller towards the bottom. It can be read as:
[ON THE…] DAY OF NOVEMBER IN THE / [YEA]R 1689 THE BODY OF GOOD MARY / [..]EAY OF SVMMERHIL WAS HERE / LAIN SHE (WAS) ONE THAT IN CHARITY / DID ABOVD SINCE FIRST SHE / LAID HER FOOT VPON THE / GROUND. SHE WAS ONE / THAT NEVER DID GRVDGE OF HER FRIEND/ OR WHAT GOD GAVE HER IN THIS WORLD / …EAD SHE WAS ONE THAT NIVER HAD / ….VRS SHE WAS TO HIPAST (?) AND A / ….ANOTHER AMOANVRSE SHE LIVED /…..HER HVSBAND MARTY VIARCANO / …HATH
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, 2013
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.