Situated on a rise in a fairly level landscape. A church at Balimacglassan is listed in the ecclesiastical taxation (1302-06) of Pope Nicholas IV (Cal. doc. Ire., 5, 254). Ussher (1622) describes the church as in reasonable repair but the chancel was ruined (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxi). A ruined church is marked on the Down Survey (1656-8) parish map at Ballymaglassan. According to Dopping (1682-5) the church and chancel of St Kenan’s (Kieran ?) were ruined since 1641 but the walls were standing and the graveyard was not enclosed (Ellison 1971, 38). A new church, described as a ‘neat little edifice’ was built in 1800 (Lewis 1837, 1, 146), but this is now closed. The site of the medieval church, of which there is no physical trace, is within a D-shaped graveyard (max. dims c. 50m NE-SW; c. 40m NW-SE) defined by masonry walls with straight sides at NE and SE. The headstones date from c. 1780 to c. 1930.
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: 10 April, 2015
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.