Sunday, 4 February 2018

Old Cannistown Church Co Meath

                                            Above Image: Entrance gate

                                             Above Image: Entrance door

                                              Above Image: Ancient arch

                              Above & Below Images: Decorative carvings on arch

                                      Above Image; Bullaun & other remnants

                                          Above Image: Remains of a font

                         Above Image: West gable as seen through the East gable

                                              Above Image: East gable

The site on which this Church was constructed is believed to be that of a monastery founded in the 6th century by St Finian of Clonard. The ruins we see today are the remains of a Church built by the Norman family De Angelu or the Nangles. They had been granted the land by Hugh De Lacy who was then Lord of Meath. It became the local parish church of St. Brigid in the 13th century and a lot of rebuilding was done over the next two centuries before it finally became a victim of the reformation. It is listed as being in ruins in 1612.
What we can see today are the remains of the chancel and nave. Within are the remains of a very fine arch  with decorative carvings on either side. Really well worth having a look at.  Both gables are quite tall and the West gable has the remains of a bell cote. It is a very lengthy  building and probably was quite important in its time. On the visit I came across a number of interesting remnants including a small bullaun stone in the nave and also a font. The grounds are well maintained and is a very peaceful site.
To find the ruins take the N3 heading North and exit at junction 8. The circular slip road leads you onto the Navan South road. Continue on this road until you reach a roundabout just past an overhead footbridge. Turn right off this roundabout onto the R147 and take the second turn right just past the Old Bridge Inn. Drive for approx. 1.2KM until you pass Keating’s Oil on your right. Just past Keating’s there is a turn right with a sign pointing to Bective GFC.  Turn down this road and after approx. 300m you will see the Church grounds gate on your left. You can park on the footpath here.


  1. Love that (baptismal?) font. And what appears to be shelves made of stone. The wonder of construction of these buildings never ceases to amaze me. I can hear the caw of the crows overhead and feel the moistness of the stones. Thanks again for these wonderful posts Castlehunter.

    1. Always a pleasure to hear from you Donna, lots more to come...