Monday 6 June 2022

Old Balfeaghan Church Co Meath

                                                  Above Image: Entrance gate 

                                               Above Image: Outer East gable

                     Above Image: Inner East gable and partial South wall in foreground

                       Above Image: Portions of the North (foreground) & South walls

                                     Above Image: Fragments within the enclosure.

The ruins of this small parish church are situated in a bucolic setting along the Kilcock to Summerhill road. The parish was created around 1250AD and the small church named after St. Feighin (who may have been St. Feichin of Fore) is thought to have been constructed shortly thereafter. Measuring at approx 44 feet x 16 feet, it appears to have been a single cell structure with no divisions inside. The church may also have been built as a chapel of ease for locals for whom the bigger parish church was a fair distance away. When the abbey at Trim was suppressed in 1540 this small church was listed as a possession and so it too was taken out of use. The church was historically recorded as being in total ruin by 1682.
Access to the site today is easy by way of a metal gate or stone stepped stile into a grassy enclosure which is rectangular in shape. The ruins lie on the crest of a small sloped elevation with the East gable being the most prominent remains. Corner sections of both the North and South walls still remain but the West wall is non-extant although it's position is defined by the slope on that side of the elevated ground.
Around the 1830's a low wall enclosure was built out of the East gable and now houses memorial stones set against the inner wall. Within this enclosure are also to be found a few stone fragments from the church which include part of it's original font and stone window surround. There are no further features extant.

To find the ruin take the R148 from St. Coca's church in Kilcock and approx 800m along take the right hand turn signposted for the R158 to Trim and Summerhill. Drive approx 600m, crossing the River Rye and arriving at a small roundabout. Continue straight on through the roundabout and approx 200m on your right you will see the cemetery. You can park easily at the entrance gate.

P.S.  Please also find an update to the Ballymount Castle post (here)