Donaghpatrick / Domnach Pádraig

St Patrick's Church stands on the site of an early christian site associated with St Patrick. Domnach Pádraig literally means the Church of Patrick. Traditionally it is believed the site was donated to him by Conall, a brother of the High King Laoghaire. According to records a church at Donaghpatrick was raided by Vikings in 949 and 996 CE; and the medieval parish church was held by the Knights Hospitallers in 1541. The present Church of Ireland church was built in 1896 and incorporates a medieval tower house. A face corbel, that probably came from the medieval church, is built into the west wall of the tower. The presence of a base batter and narrow slit windows, now blocked up, show the tower was originally built for defensive purposes.

From the southwest

In the graveyard are a standing stone, the graveslab of Patrick Plunket (1575CE) and his wife Elizabeth Barnewall; and the octagonal font, pictured above. The font has a circular basin, chamfered under panels and sits on an octagonal shaft. The basin has a central drain and an unusual second drain slanting outwards to a vent in a lower side panel, see last image. Built into the outside of the south graveyard wall is the head of an early sundial. It has a double lined incised circle with radiating lines from a central gnomon hole. The bottom image shows the location of the sundial.

Early sundial

Corbel face

Situated: From Navan head north on the R 147 for 6.5 kilometres. Turn right, signposted Donaghpatrick. Turn left at the T-Junction. The church is on your left.

Discovery Map 42. N 8188 7255. Last visit May 2017.

Longitude: 6° 45' 36" W

Latitude: 53° 41' 47" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey and José Gutiérrez.

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