Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Old Skreen Church Co Meath

Sitting loftily on the crest of the 500 feet high Hill of Skryne stands the medieval Church ruin dedicated to St Lawrence. It was built in 1341 by a descendant of Hugh De Lacy of Skryne Castle. The ruins are dominated by the 100 feet tall Tower which can be seen from quite a distance in the surrounding area. The ruins although placed on the Hill of Skryne are more commonly known as Skreen. The Tower is positioned on the Western facing area of the Church while quite a bit of the North and South walls have disappeared.
As you arrive at Skreen it is quite easy to be taken aback by the sheer height of the Tower. It appears much higher than it's 100 feet when you are standing directly below it. The Church amid a graveyard is surrounded by a high wall and a locked gate, but is accessible by a stone stile . The stile steps are steep so care is needed when ascending and descending. Once inside you can walk about freely and take in the wonderful views the site affords and some of the ancient headstones.
The Tower is in reasonably good condition but the rest of the Church has lost a lot of its walls. There are however some decorative windows and a fine arched doorway.. All of the time we walked around we were conscious of the Tower as if it loomed above us, watching. It is certainly a most imposing structure and well worth a visit
To find Skreen, take the N2 exit from the M50 Motorway heading North. When you reach the left turn for Rathfeigh (The L1002), leave the N2 and continue on for about 3 miles following the signs for Skreen. You will reach a Crossroads with the Swan Pub on the Far right hand side. Turn right here and on reaching the next Crossroads turn left. You should be able to see The Tower ahead and a short drive through the Village will lead you to the Car Park of the famous O'Connell's Pub. you can park here directly at the foot of the ruins.

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