Ref: K128

Castlefarm Graveyard

Townland: Castlefarm Parish: Suncroft
Denomination: RC Diocese: Kildare and Leighlin (RC) 
Grid Ref: 275904(E), 202831(N) Status: Closed
Record of Protected Structures (RPS): Ref. B32-12 Record of Monuments and Places (RMP): KD032-013001 - graveyard
Boundary Treatment: Stone wall with coping
Natural Heritage Details: Mature conifers and ewe trees; Semi-natural grassland; wild flowers; Overgrown with brambles and briars; lichen on headstones and wall.
Description: The site is located on the north side of a farm in a field of winter barley. The ground surrounding the church is fairly level. The graveyard is circular in plan enclosed by a stone wall. A ruined medieval church lies within the graveyard. The grave markers are located on all sides of the church and within the church. The grave markers dates from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The headstone types are: Celtic style, kerb, rounded and railed. The material used was predominantly limestone with occasional granite. The church is divided into a nave and chancel. The dividing wall is still intact and the E facing wall. There is heavy ivy growth on the church. An octagonal baptismal font of granite is located with the church. The last burial took place in 1978. Local history attests to famine burials within the graveyard and also outside of the boundary walls. Several fragments of human remains could be seen on the ground outside of the walls of the graveyard. It is also reported that the stone from a nearby castle was used to construct the boundary wall in the 19th century. The graveyard is heavily overgrown and a full inspection was not possible. An overgrown stile is located in the hedgerow along the road and a stile through the boundary wall is located in the NW side. These stiles were put in by the council.
Appraisal: The site is of considerable archaeological, architectural and historic interest, attesting to the long-standing ecclesiastical presence in the area. The present medieval church contains a nave and chancel and a single narrow light in the E gable. Features of note are a octagonal font located in the nave. The church was founded by St Briga in the 5th century but the present remains are of the church of the Canons Regular of St Augustine. The graveyard contains various cut-stone grave markers from the 19th-20th centuries, which are of artistic and historic interest.

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