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Situated on a hillock with a small SE-NW stream c. 100m to the NE. Ussher (1622) describes the church and chancel of Rathcoure as ruined, and he lists it as a chapel-of-ease to Trim (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxiii). According to Dopping's Visitation Book (1682-85) St Ultan’s church at Rathcore was a chapel-of-ease to St Patrick’s in Trim (ME036-048012-), and the graveyard was not enclosed. At that time the church was in disrepair, but the chancel ’37 feet by 21 (c. 11.3m x c. 6.4m)’ was in better shape although still unusable (Ellison 1972, 9). The present Church of Ireland church was built c. 1800, and is within a subrectangular graveyard (dims c. 68m NW-SE; c. 57m NE-SW) defined by masonry walls and hedges, with headstones dating largely from c. 1780 to the present.
There is no evidence of the older church but two stones re-used as grave-markers (H 0.18m; H 0.17m) might be from a door-frame of the medieval church. The octagonal font (ext. dims 0.58m; H 0.42m) with a circular basin (int. diam. D 0.2m) and chamfered under-panels described by Roe (1968, 126) is now kept in the church porch. A fragment of a headstone (Wth 0.2m; H 0.37m; T 5cm) has the incised date 1690 or 1660, and an incised double-line cross. A disc-headed cross (dims 0.12m x 0.11m; H 0.38m; span 0.28m) in the graveyard has the date 161(2?) and what might be the letters ‘DRD’ in relief on one face.
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: 9 April, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.