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Situated on a slight rise in a level landscape. Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel of Kilbried as ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxii). A decayed church is listed at Baytown in the Civil Survey (1654-6) (Simington 1943, 116). According to the Dopping (1682-5) and Royal (1693) visitations the church of St Bridget had been a chapel-of-ease to Dunboyne since 1400 (Lewis 1837, 1, 568; Ellison 1971, 38-9), but it had been in ruins since 1641. The parish church of Kilbride is within a rectangular graveyard (dims c. 50m NE-SW at SE to c. 65m NE-SW at NW; c. 40m NW-SE) defined by masonry walls. The headstones date generally from c. 1800 to the present. All the headstones have been recorded (Moore and Kenny 1977) and some have dates as early as 1701, but the recumbent slab commemorating Rev. Robert Ford, parish priest of Dunboyne who died in 1609 (Cogan 1862-70, 1, 193) is not identified.
The church consists of a nave (int. dims 17m E-W; 5.27m N-S) that survives almost complete with ivy-covered walls (T 0.7m; H 3-4m) but all the dressed stonework has been removed. There is a destroyed window embrasure high in the W wall and there are round-headed openings for doorways towards the W end of the N (Wth 1.8m) and S (Wth 1.6m) walls. There are flat-headed embrasures from destroyed windows towards the E end of the long walls. The pointed chancel arch (Wth 2.1m; H 2.2m) is plain, although Cogan (ibid. 191) described it as being ornate. He also says that two ornamental crosses disappeared from the graveyard c. 1830. The chancel is a grass-covered platform (dims 8m E-W; 5m N-S) extending eastwards from the arch with a wall footing at the base of a scarp at the E end.
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: 8 April, 2015
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage