Photographer's Note

Pictured here is a very old table tomb in the cemetery of Skreen Church on the Hill of Skryne, County Meath.

In the distance beyond is the landscape of County Meath known as the Royal County for it once being the seat of the high kings of Ireland.

The cemetery is in the presence of a very old church which dates back to 1341 and which was built by an ancestor of Hugh De Lacy. The hill itself is 500 feet high and the west facing tower of the church is another 100 foot high making this a very imposing scene visible for miles around the area. Although the tower of the church is in reasonable condition, the rest of the building is in total ruin and the cemetery is overgrown and forlorn.

As you move around the churches ruin, the high grass and overgrown bushes hide many ancient tombstones of all shapes and sizes. Celtic crosses, broken pillars, stone and slate slabs and the one we see here which is a table tomb. This is very similar to a sarcophagus, but instead of being solid, the lid is suspended in the air by stone legs. Over time, this one here has began to tilt and will no doubt fall over someday, disappearing into the ground like many of its neighbours.

In silhouette on the horizon you can see a more traditional Celtic Cross headstone.

This is a very beautiful part of Meath and it amazes me how lonely and desolate it is here, this ancient site sees very few visitors. On the plus side, that makes it more special to visit at sunset on a warm autumn evening.

Every day, tens of thousands of people pass by here on the M3 motorway and from there the tower of the church is very visible. It seems very few of them ever wander off the motorway to explore it.

thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4177 W: 26 N: 9240] (33774)
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