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Located towards the top of the NE-facing slope of a low NW-SE ridge. A church at Cnockmark is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire., 5, 255). Ussher (1622) records the church and chancel of Knockmake as decayed (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxv). According to Dopping's visitation (1682-5) the church of St Peter and its chancel were unrepaired since 1641 and the graveyard was not enclosed (Ellison 1972, 4). A Church of Ireland church was built in 1811 (Lewis 1837, 239-40) but it was defunct by the end of the century (1909 OS 6-inch map), and only its W tower with a spire survives.
The site of the medieval parish church is within a D-shaped graveyard (max. dims c. 90m WNW-ESE; c. 50m NNE-SSW) defined by masonry walls with the straight sides at W and S and a road curving around the perimeter NW-E-ESE. The headstones date from c. 1780 to the present. There is no visible evidence of the medieval church, apart from a coffin-shaped graveslab (H 0.7m; Wth 0.23-0.32m; T 0.1-0.15m) set up as a headstone, which has a bracelet-headed cross together with a sword carved in low relief on the E face. A font, which is described (Davidson 1895) as an octagonal but broken piece of limestone ‘1 foot 10 inches wide (c. 0.56m)’ with an octagonal stem ‘1 foot 3 inches (c. 0.38m)’ in height and ‘1 foot 4 inches (c. 0.4m)’ wide at the top that had a moulding at the waist is no longer present in the graveyard. Each side of the basin had a socket for securing the cover.
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: 7 April, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.