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Cruicetown Church
 

County

Meath

Coordinates

N 53° 48' 15.7"   W 006° 47' 37.3"

Nearest town

Nobber

Grid Ref.

N 79527 84531

Map No.

35

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

97

Date of visit

Saturday 31 May 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The low mound with the ruins of the church is beyond the cattle.


This parish church was built around 1200. It has a nave and a chancel which is aligned to the east (85°).
The church and its graveyard are on a low mound enclosed in a circular stone wall, slightly raised above the surrounding land, at 220 metres northwest (305°) from the cattle gate on the local road.
The building is 19 metres long and 6.50 metres wide. In the northwest corner of the nave some fragments and decorations of the church have been gathered and set into a concrete base along with a plain and undecorated baptismal font which may be as old as the church itself. The west and east gable are mostly intact. The north wall is only at half height. There are two small round headed windows in the east and south walls. In the south wall is also a recess with the beautiful altar tomb of Walter Cruise who died on April 11th, 1663, and his wife Elizabeth. The top slab of the tomb has the effigies of the couple. The sides of the tomb have decorated pillars that define three panels with skulls and crossbones and an angel with a crown. On the wall above the tomb there are the coats of arms of the two persons and a lengthy inscription that reads, among other things, that the tomb was erected in 1688 by their eldest son Patrick for his parents, for himself and his wife Catherine Dalton and their posterity.
But the most beautiful thing at this place, in my opinion, is the ringed head cross at 7 metres south of the church.
Its faces are aligned northeast-southwest (70°-250°), it's 2.25 metres tall, its arms open at 1.13 metres, the shaft is 44 centimetres wide and 21 centimetres thick.
On the west face there's a crucifixion, on the other face there's the image of the Virgin Mary and the Child. The north side carries an inscription that reads that Patrick Cruise and his wife Catherine Dalton erected this cross in 1688.
The Cruise (or de Cruise) family was among the first Anglo-Norman families to invade Ireland between 1169 and 1176. This could be the ancestral Irish homeland of the actor Tom Cruise.


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