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Situated in a small dip at the bottom of a slight SW-facing slope, and there is a small NW-SE stream immediately outside the churchyard to the S that feeds into the Broadmeadow River c. 2.3km to the ESE. A church at Cookstown is first mentioned in Ussher (1622) where the church and chancel are said to be ruined and it is described as a chapel-of-ease to Ratoath (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxii). According to Dopping (1682-5) the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Cookstown was a chapel-of-ease to Greenoge (ME045-018----) (Ellison 1971, 37). The grass-covered foundations of an E-W building (int. dims c. 14m E-W; c. 5m N-S) with a structure attached to the W end, probably the foundations of a tower, were visible in 1970, but the perimeter of the subcircular churchyard (diam. c. 45m) defined by an earthen bank and ditch (SMR file, 1940) was gone by 1970 and no evidence of burial was visible.
By 2000 visible traces of the church were absent, but archaeological testing (01E0091) identified the ditch (Wth 1.2m; D 1m plus) at two points on the perimeter at N, although no burials were recorded in the N part of the graveyard (Miles 2003). Further limited testing (02E1689) identified the bank and external ditch at two points on the W side during the widening of a minor N-S road from Ashbourne to Ratoath, but again no burials were identifiied (O’Connor 2004).
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: 7 April, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.