Located in deciduous woodland and situated in a fold towards the bottom of the steep S-facing slope of Slane Hill, with a NW-SE section of the River Boyne c. 50m to the SW. Sometime before 1512 Christopher Fleming, lord of Slane, and his wife, Elizabeth Stuckly, granted St. Erc’s hermitage to Fr. Malachy O’Bryen and Br. Donagh O’Bryen of the Franciscan Third Order, who were already living there (Gwynn and Hadcock 1970, 274-5). This suggests that there was an older structure at this location, which may be this dwelling attached to the S of the church (ME019-026----). At the Suppression in 1540 it was described as a church and chancel with a belfry, a cottage and 1 acre of land (White 1943, 313), but it had no other possessions.
The church (ME019-026----) is almost complete, apart from much of the S nave wall, and consists of a nave and chancel separated by a tower, with a two-storey dwelling (int. dims c. 4.06m E-W; c. 3.5m N-S) attached to the S of the tower. The dwelling appears to be the earliest structure, onto which the tower was added, with the nave and chancel built subsequently (Channing 1995, 12). Because of the hillslope, the floor levels in the dwelling are lower than the corresponding floors of the tower. The ground floor of the dwelling has a blocked window in the W wall with a doorway at its N end, which may be an insertion (ibid. 11, 14). There is a fireplace and a blocked window in the S wall and a blocked window in the E wall. Its first floor, accessed from the mural stairs in the S wall of the tower, has a window in the W wall, a window in the S wall, a garderobe at the SE angle, and a fireplace in the E wall. Its floor was supported on corbels in the W wall and rebates on the S and E walls. Gables rise over the E and W walls, with an attic light in the W wall. Excavation (95E0024) uncovered paving outside the external doorway in the W wall of the dwelling (Channing 1995, 14-6). (Bradley and King 1985, 142)
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of upload: 15 July, 2014Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage