St. Patrick's Church,
Castletown-Kilpatrick - history
The Ecclesiastical Register for 1820, lists Castletown-Kilpatrick as a Vicarage within the Union of Drakestown, Castletown-Kilpatrick and Knough (Knock). The Church of the Union was situated in Castletown and the Incumbent listed as the Reverend Robert Longfield. Longfield became Rector in 1813 and the Patrons of the Parish were the King and the Bishop of Meath alternately.
Lewis describes Castletown-Kilpatrick as being: "a parish in the Barony of Morgallion, County of Meath, three miles from Nobber on the road from Kells to Ardee. The Living is a Rectory in the Diocese of Meath, united by Act of Council to the Rectories of Knock, Drakestown, and in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Bishop."
Lewis records that the church was rebuilt in 1823, at a cost of £467.13.10. A stone plaque above the door of the church reads as follows:
"This Church was Rebuilt by Order of The Rigt. Honb. & Rt. Revd. Th. Lewis Lord Bishop of Meath. The Revd. Robt. Longfield Rector. Henry Owens Esqr. & Henry Liscoe, ChurchWardens. Robt. Wiggins Builder. A.D; 1820"
The church is a short two-bay hall with a three-stage pinnacled tower. The re-building of the church by Robert Wiggins ensured the survival of a number of late mediaeval fragments from a previous building. These fragments include: two cusped headed lights (or windows) on the second floor of the tower, a carved fragment attached to one of the pinnacles and a mediaeval stone head projecting from the wall of the church. Over the East Window, on the exterior of the church is a fragment of a mediaeval tomb stone, showing a female in an attitude of prayer. This may date from the 15th c. The doorcase is also unusual, being pedimented and framing a pointed arch. This is obviously from an older building.
The numbers attending Castletown Church were always small. The "Ecclesiastical Church Commission, 1868" lists only 44 members of the Established Church (Church of Ireland) residing in the parish. In the 1940's and early 1950's there were 24 parishioners in the parish, half who attended Castletown and the other half, Nobber Church, (also closed). Castletown-Kilpatrick Church was later united to Kilshine and Donaghpatrick Church, Castletown and Kilshine closing in the mid-1960's.
There is no records surviving as to the fate of the memorial tablets and furnishings from Castletown-Kilpatrick Church. It seems the furniture was broken up, due to wood-worm and damp damage. The memorial tablets, alleged to have been erected by the Alment and Blithe families have disappeared without trace. Another monument dating from 1743, commemorating Philip Whittingham D.D. in the form of a classical aedicule with an urn inside a broken pediment was situated on the right or south side of the chancel wall. Part of the frame of this monument remains but the tablet and urn have been removed. Hopefully these tablets may have been removed for safe-keeping.
St. Patrick's Church,
Castletown-Kilpatrick - now
The church today is in a derelict condition with the roof falling in . The windows have been removed and the church presents a dismal appearance. A community work-scheme has restored the graveyard to pristine condition, with trees being pruned, headstones restored, gravel laid on the paths and railings painted. It is to be hoped that some restoration work could be carried out on the church building itself to ensure its preservation. The church and graveyard are now in the care of Meath County Council, the parish bearing no responsibility since 1975 for the site.
A tombstone in the graveyard commemorates William Frederick Alment who was Archdeacon of Meath and Rector of Castletown-Kilpatrick for 52 years. He died on December 11th 1940. The former Rectory was built c. 1823, and was sold and demolished c.1945, after the death of Archdeacon Alment. Only some of the former stables remain to show its position on the long lane up to the church.