Ref: K031

Rathernan

 
Townland: Rathernan Parish: Robertstown (Rathernan)
 
Denomination: RC Diocese: Kildare and Leighlin (RC) 
 
Grid Ref: 278053(E), 222282(N) Status: Closed
 
Record of Protected Structures (RPS): B18-02 Record of Monuments and Places (RMP): KD018-006003
 
Boundary Treatment: Rough coursed stone wall (1.5m high approx) to the southwest, modern wooden fence to the north and northwest, vegetative boundaries elsewhere.
 
Natural Heritage Details: 10-20 mature and young trees, mostly in boundaries; hedgerows represent the NE, E and S boundaries; full coverage by semi-natural grassland; brambles and ivy in boundaries and dispersed throughout; lichens visible on all gravestones.
 
Description: K031 is located in a rural setting SE of Kilmeague. The graveyard and an associated church are marked on both the 1st edition OS 6" map and the 1897-1913 OS 25" map, but the church is recorded as being in ruins on the latter. The graveyard is accessed directly from a local road. There is a gate in the NW of the SW boundary wall, but it is too stiff to open. There are adjacent stone steps, but these do not provide easy access as they are overgrown. There is no gated access from the adjoining property ("Resurrect") to the Se. The enclosed area is higher than the surrounding area. The ground surface is very overgrown and uneven. There are no visible church ruins on the site, but the NW quadrant of the site is particularly overgrown and may conceal structural remains. Legible gravestones date from 19th and 20th century.
 
Appraisal: The site is of considerable archaeological interest, attesting to the long-standing ecclesiastical presence in the area. No remains of the original medieval church are visible above ground but features associated with church are likely to survive sub-surface. Overall the site is in poor condition. The boundary wall is very overgrown, but upstanding and stable. Gravestones are all overgrown, a situation which if unchecked will make the graveyard vulnerable to further degradation. Only a few are visible through the tall grass. These are generally standing quite straight. Others are concealed by the grass. The headstones date between the 19thand 20th centuries and demonstrate some artistic merit.
 

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