Situated on the W side of a small N-S fold in a fairly level landscape. At its suppression in 1540 the tithes of Kilclone and Balradan were amongst the possessions of St Peter’s Augustinian abbey in Newtown Trim (ME036-049003-) (White 1940, 297). Ussher (1622) describes the church at Ballruddan as repaired although the chancel was ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxix). According to the Dopping (1682-5) and Royal (1693) visitations the parish church of of St Rodan at Balroddan or Rodanstown was in good repair but there was no chancel. A font is listed and the graveyard was enclosed (Ellison 1972, 5). The saint could be St Ruadhán of Lorrha (TN004-010----), but there is no known connection. Lewis (1837, 2, 480) describes the church as an ‘ancient plain edifice’, but the present structure is likely to be 18th century in date.
The site of the medieval church is within an oval graveyard (dims c. 55m N-S; c. 45m E-W) defined by an earthen bank SE-W-NW and by a masonry wall NW-E-SE where it is skirted by a public road. The headstones date largely from c. 1750 to c. 1910 with some headstones from the 1970s. The present structure survives complete with strong masonry walls (T 0.95-1m; H c. 5m). It is rectangular with a large apse occupying the width of the E wall (ext. dims 20.2m E-W; 7.9m N-S; int. dims 18.35m E-W; 6m N-S). There are two blocked windows (Wth 1.4-1.5m) in the N and the S walls and one in the E, and there is a round-headed doorway opening (Wth 1.6m) in the W wall. The large window sills have been removed, and the tops of the windows were altered to round-heads in brick at some stage, which necessitated raising the walls by c. 1m. The gable on the W wall relates to this phase and the single belfry is additional to this. The font mentioned by Cogan (1862-70, 2, 359) is now at Milltown (ME017-036----) near Kells. It is octagonal (ext. dim. 0.6m; H 0.5m) with chamfered under- panels and has a circular, flat-bottomed basin (int. diam. 0.46m; D 0.15m). The font stands on an octagonal base with a moulding at the top (H 0.28m) (Roe 1968, 113).
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: 10 April, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.