Situated on a rise in a fairly level landscape with the small NNE SSW Yellow River c. 80m to the W. A chalice in the National Museum of Ireland which was made in 1637 has an inscription proclaiming ‘for the use of St. Anne’s of Randalstown’ (Kelly 1973, 10). A church is not recorded on the Down Survey (1656-8) barony or parish maps at Randalstown, and it is not recorded in the visitations of Ussher (1622) or Dopping (1682-5) (Erlington 1847-64, 1, lxxxvii-xci; Ellison 1973 7-9), so it may have been a private chapel that was destroyed in the Cromwellian period as local tradition maintains (Kelly 1973, 11). According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) 290 acres of Randalstown were owned by John Everard in 1640 (Simington 1940, 295), and the family recovered their estate and held it into the 20th century (Kelly 1973, 11).
The foundations of a rectangular building (int. dims c. 8m E-W; c. 3m N-S) defined by featureless masonry walls (T 0.6m; max. H 1.5m) survive, with an underground crypt (int. dims 3m x 2.75m) in the interior approached by steps from the E (ibid. 8). The church is situated on a circular mound (diam. 30m; H 1.5m) which is of artificial construction and from which at least twenty inhumations, probably associated with the church, were recovered in excavation (E000149) in 1975-6 by E. P. Kelly (1976) and 1980-1, but there is no enclosed graveyard (SMR file). The enclosure (ME025-002---) pre-dates the church, and St. Anne’s Well (ME025-045----) is c. 70m to the SW.
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: 27 June, 2014Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage