Photographer's Note

This is a shot of one of the grave monuments at Ardmulchan Cemetery, a site approximately 3 miles outside Navan, Co Meath on the Slane Road.

At this place can be found a ruined church consisting of a belfry and church building measuring 78 feet long. This is situated in an ancient graveyard, and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The church was built in the 12th century, and the last mass was celebrated here in 1613.

Its position high on Ardmulchan hill offers beautiful views over the nearby River Boyne, and down through the Boyne Valley. The cemetery features some unusual memorials including a rare trapezoidal tomb with a highly ornate cross.

A historical journal known as the Annals of the Four Masters records that in 968 a battle took place here between the King of Dublin, Olaf Cuaran and the O Neills. The Dublin Norsemen won this battle.

As well as the church and cemetery filled with unusual stones, this area is littered with areas of historical interest. Barely visible in this shot to the extreme lower left of the stone carving is the ruins of Dunmoe castle, another ruined 12th century structure that has a commanding view over the valley. Facing this is Ardmulchan House, a period mansion from around 1850.

The area is also home to numerous megalithic tombs, ring forts and fortified medieval buildings.

The feeling at Ardmulchan church is one of true abandonment, it sits at the end of a narrow road and to find it, you must know where to go as it is not signposted. This is despite its very prominent location which allows it to be seen for miles around.

The graveyard features finely carved statues (the statue in the picture is the tip of a very tall grave monument), temple style memorials and traditional Celtic crosses. The ruins of the church are littered with rubble from its collapsed walls and you can easily find the finely carved stone window tracery, now shattered and lying on the ground.

Thanks for looking.

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4173 W: 26 N: 9238] (33764)
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