Friday 12 August 2022

Old Palmerstown Church Oldtown Co Dublin


                                  Above Image: Corner of East and North walls

                                           Above Image: Inner Entrance gates

                                   Above Image: Corner of North and West walls

                                          Above Image: Section of North wall

Very little remains of this small medieval church which lies in the Northwest corner of the County of Dublin. 

The church which is recorded as being once under the auspices of St. John the Baptist priory was probably constructed in the 12th or 13th century. It was more than likely a small parish church or chapel of ease and has not withstood the sands of time very well. After the dissolution in the 16th century a lot of small churches fell into disrepair and ruin as the community had no means to maintain their upkeep and this appears to be one of them. 

The ruins are situated on elevated ground within a walled enclosure which is from a later date. The site is accessible from a country road through two sets of gates.  The inner gates are part of the actual enclosure which is based in farmland. Among the gravestones the East and West gables exist only at foundation level with the North and South walls barely over a foot high. A great deal of work is happening on a continual basis to keep the graveyard clean and it is commendable. It's a shame that the church has been reduced to the level it is but efforts are being made to inhibit any further loss.

The earliest inscribed marker here dates to 1774 and there is a well also dedicated to St. James in a field to the South.

Point of note, parking at the roadside gate is precarious. There is only a small tarmac area which is slanted down from the gate leaving your car parked at an odd angle. There is also a bend in the road just prior to the gate so be very aware before open the door and step out.

To find the ruins take the junction 3 exit from the M2 and at the Nine Mile roundabout take the third exit onto the R125 towards Swords. Drive approx. 700m until you reach a junction with the L5019. Turn left here and then immediately right onto the L5022-9. Continue on this road for approx. 500m where the road bends sharply right and then left. Continue straight on approx. 900m to the next sharp right bend and 300m farther on is the gate to the graveyard on your left.

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