Friday, 24 May 2019
Old Nobber Church Co Meath
Very little remains now of the medieval parish church in Nobber Co Meath. The name Nobber is derived from the gaelic "An Obair" meaning "The Work". The church was built on a former non-extant monastic site and was dedicated to St John the Baptist. During the middle ages the parish of Nobber thrived but by the 17th century it had slipped into decline and the church was ruinous by 1641.
All that is left standing today but still looking dramatic is the West wall and belfry tower which was added to the church in the 15th century. With the innards now exposed it shows that the ground floor was vaulted within the tower. Originally it consisted of four storeys. A fragment of the North wall is also present..
On our visit we got talking to a local grounds warden who was very informative and pointed out the grave slabs present at the site. The most striking is that of the effigial tomb slab of Gerard Cruise and Margaret Plunkett which was once within the old church but has now been set upright in a monument in the car park. There are two other slabs to be found in the graveyard date to the late 17th century one of them belonging to a priest called Murtagh the other to one Edward Balfe. The graveyard contains many interesting ancient stones and high crosses and is well worth a walk around. The more modern building adjacent to the ruins is that of a Church of Ireland church built in 1771 is now closed for worship but has been transformed into the George Eogan Cultural & Heritage Centre.
To find the ruins take the M3 heading North and after junction 10 the motorway ends in a roundabout. Take the third exit on this roundabout then the first exit on the subsequent roundabout following the N52 for Dundalk. Drive straight through the next two roundabouts and on the third take a left turn still following the signs for the N52 to Dundalk.Continue on this road for approx 12KM through Carlanstown and Stahalmog until you reach a T-junction with the R162. Turn left here and drive for approx 4KM until you enter Nobber..Look for Keogan's Bar on you left and turn left up the laneway just before the bar. You will find the car park of the graveyard at the end.