Ballinabrackey, Castlejordan and Ballyboggan

Ballinabrackey Church
Castlejordan Church
Head at Ballyboggan Abbey
Ballyboggan Abbey


The parish of Ballinabrackey is located between Kinnegad and Edenderry. The modern parish is made up of almost equal parts of counties Meath and Offaly. Within its borders is the meeting place of the three small rivers which make up the early course of the river Boyne.

The name Ballinabrackey may mean the plains of the wolves. Wolves roamed in packs across pre-historic Ireland and feature in Irish mythology.

This book has been written from and based on the writings of many historian and archaeologists. A partial list of those who have written on the parish is in the section of sources and these should be consulted for further information. If anyone has additional information please feel free to contact me.

Castlejordan appears in many earlier records as Castle Jordan but I have standardised it as the modern spelling of Castlejordan. In this book I have used the spellings for the townlands as they appear in the particular record being written about.

Thank you to Bernie O’Connor for additional information. Thank you to Rev. Fr. Martin Halpin for his support.

Castlejordan Spire

Early History

The earliest recorded inhabitants of Ireland appear to have arrived sometime around 8000 B.C. They were hunter gatherers who settled near water sources.

The next phase in Irish prehistory saw the arrival of the first farmers around 4000BC. They brought with them new ideas about food production and had the ability to grow crops and raise domesticated animals such as cows, sheep and goats. A stone axe head was discovered in the parish in 1959.

The next major phase in Irish prehistory is characterised by the arrival of metalworking. Initially these new metal objects were fashioned out of copper and mainly consisted of axes and daggers. A copper alloy pin was found at Castlejordan in 1865. A copper alloy spearhead was discovered while ploughing in Killowen in 1977. A socketed bronze axe was discovered at Castlejordan and is now in the National Museum.

The Iron Age remains a somewhat enigmatic period in Irish prehistory with a relative dearth of settlement evidence compared to earlier and later periods. At Harristown there is the remains of a ringfort. In 1836 the first mapping by the Ordnance Survey recorded a fort at Tournafolla but today there is no visible trace. There are the remains of an enclosure site in Harristown. Described as a raised circular area it is surrounded by a field fence on one side.  There are the remains of another raised enclosure in Kildangan. An enclosure at Knockersally/Colehill was discovered as a circular cropmark in an aerial survey by Cambridge University. At Rossan there is the site of an enclosure.  A quern stone, used for grinding corn, was uncovered at Carrick townland in 1966.

In Toberdaly bog butter has been discovered on two occasions and a gold ring on another occasion. Preserved butter is frequently found in Irish bogs. The custom of burying butter in bogs seems to have been known in early times, possibly as early as the sixth century. Burial in the bog would keep the butter as cool as possible. The exclusion of air and the antiseptic qualities of the turf would prevent mould growth.  Butter could have been buried to give it a flavour or to hide it from for animals or for security. Butter may also have been a votive offering to the gods.

In 2012 a bog body was discovered at Rossan bog. Iron Age bog bodies date from the period 400 B.C. to 400 A.D. and are people who were ritually sacrificed and buried in the bog. The torso of a body was discovered at the Bord na Mona bog at Rossan. The head was missing. The date of death and sex of the body will be revealed once there has been a proper investigation.

A togher or roadway through the bog was located at Baltigeer. It consisted of five layers of oak beams, some dressed, covered in gravel and topped with birchwood rods  possibly dates to the late Bronze Age.   

According to a poem translated by John O’Donovan, the area around Castlejordan was the territory of the Cedachs, a sept descended from Cathaoir Mor, high king of Ireland in the second century A.D. According to tradition Cathaoir Mor granted the land to his son Cetach. The grant is recorded in the Book of Rights.  Gernegedah is another name recorded in books and manuscripts for Castlejordan. This is a variation of Kernekedah which is derived from Cedach. The area was sometimes called Crioch na gCedach, the territory of the descendants of Ceatach. In 1271 the area is recorded as Crinegedach and in 1302 as Kirnegedach. The area was part of the kingdom of Meath. 

Early Christian Times

Kilkieran Graveyard

The earliest church in the area may have been dedicated to St. Kieran as there was a church site at Kilkieran. Kilkieran may have been the church which served the parish of Castlejordan and Ballinabrackey before new churches were erected in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The most famous bearer of the name, St. Kieran, studied at St. Finian’s school at Clonard and later established the major monastery at Clonmacnoise. Alternatively the church might have been dedicated to St. Kieran of Seir-Kieran. According to Cogan there was a church at Kilkieran which was pulled down. One of the trees in the graveyard marked the site of the altar.

A holy well, Tobar Odran, was recorded near or in Kilkieran graveyard. A holy well is a spring or other small body of water revered either in a pagan or Christian context, often both. Holy wells were frequently pagan sacred sites that later became Christianised. This well was named after Odran, who was charioteer to St. Patrick on his travels around Ireland. On the borders of Kildare and Offaly lived a chieftain who resented the introduction of Christianity and plotted to kill Patrick who was visiting the area. The chieftain made arrangements with assassins to kill Patrick as he set out on his journey. He informed the killers that Patrick would be leaving in the morning and he would be the man sitting at the back of the chariot.  Odran overheard the plot and as the couple set out the following morning he asked Patrick to change places with him. They had not gone very far when a lance killed the charioteer. Odran had sacrificed himself for his master. St. Odran’s feastday is 19 February. A holy well, Tobar Ordain, was recorded by John O’Donovan on the edge of the bog of Brackagh in the townland of Clonmore.

Our Lady’s Well

Near the Boyne River where three roads meet was the Glynn and the site of the Lady Well dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The well is beside the road and shaded by a sycamore tree.  Votive offerings were tied to the tree. A patron day and fair were held at the well in the early 1800s.  This well is sometimes known as Ballyboggan well. There was a holy well called Tobar na Cille, the well of the churches, near where the Yellow River empties into the Boyne.

The church at Baltigeer was a rectangular structure with a base batter on the east wall. The church remains is in a circular enclosure defined by a bank and ditch. There is a bullaun stone 50 metres west of the enclosure. At Baltigeer there is a rectangular field system covering about six acres which is associated with the church ruins.

Ballyboggan Abbey

The arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the late twelfth century brought about major changes to Ireland through the establishment of castles, churches and monasteries.

Ballyboggan Abbey was said to have been established in the twelfth century by Jordan Comyn under the invocation of the Holy Trinity. The monastery was sometimes known as “De Laude Dei” meaning to the praise of God. Comyn established the monastery under the Augustinian canons. Nearby Clonard monastery was also under the rule of the Augustinians. There may have been a monastery in existence at Ballyboggan dedicated to Our Lady prior to the establishment created by John Comyn. There are mentions of the abbey as early as 1283. John de Bermingham of Carbury made a grant to Ballyboggan Abbey in 1329.

In 1399 John O’Mayller, “a mere Irishman” was removed from his position as prior of Ballyboggan as he was regarded as an enemy of the king and no Irishman was allowed to hold such a position under the Statutes of Kilkenny. Richard Cuthbert objected to the appointment and found a discrepancy in the appointment and so was granted the priory of Ballyboggan. Taking a case against a clergyman could result in the accuser obtaining the position held by the accused. Some of these cases could have been based on false or exaggerated allegations.

In 1404 Henry IV granted part of the lands of the monastery to William Stockynbrygge of County Dublin. The main part of these lands were located at Cabragh, Co. Dublin and also included a property with a garden in Trim.

Ballyboggan Interior

In 1446 Tanaidhe, son of Maoilin O’Mulconry, was buried in the monastery of Ballyboggan. In 1446 the priory of Ballyboggan was burned. In 1447 the prior of Ballyboggan died in a plague. It was said that up to 700 priests died throughout Ireland. There had been a great famine in Ireland in the spring of the year so much so that men were forced to eat all sorts of plants. A plague arrived in the summer and continued into the autumn and winter. This plague was a re-occurrence of the Black Death which had arrived in Ireland a century earlier. There seems to have been an epidemic lasting from 1447 to 1454 throughout England and Ireland. In 1497 Gilbert Bermingham, abbot of Clonard, reported to Rome, that Godfrey, prior of Ballyboggan was excommunicated.

In Ballyboggan abbey there was a crucifix which attracted pilgrims from throughout Ireland. Other centres of pilgrimage in Meath included the statue of Our Lady of Trim and the statue of Our Lady of Navan. The Ballyboggan crucifix was publically burned in 1538 during the Reformation as was the statue of Our Lady of Trim. Archbishop George Browne of Dublin was the commissioner for the suppression to stifle such ‘superstitious’ practices as pilgrimages and worshiping at relics. In his campaign in the winter of 1538-9 Browne visited up to fifty shrines in Ormond and the Pale including Ballyboggan. There was a holy well in Harristown townland called Tobar na Croiche Naomh, meaning the well of the Holy Cross. Stations were performed at the well in the 1830s but by 1849 it was totally neglected.

Ballyboggan, as one of the richest monasteries in Meath, was probably one of the first monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII, when he confiscated the possessions of the monasteries. The abbey was surrendered by its last prior, Thomas Bermingham, on 15 October 1537. Thomas was provided with a pension of £100. The monastery and its lands were initially leased to Lord Deputy Leonard Grey for twenty one years in 1538. As the head of the English government in Ireland Grey was one of the first to benefit from the confiscations of the monasteries. The monastery was in quite a ruinous state with the exception of the church which served as the parish church.

In 1540 a list of property and possessions of the monastery was made at Carbury. The monastery had a hall and other buildings which were very much in decay and an orchard with a garden. The church was used as a parish church and therefore could not be confiscated. Near the church was a cemetery and a cloister which amounted to one ‘Carbre acre.’ There were three messuages (areas of land), seven cottages amounting to 72 acres arable and 28 acres pasture. This parcel was held by Sir William Bermingham for 53s. 4d. The water mill, which had been worth 40s., was now broken and totally in decay. The abbey had six eel weirs. The monastery also received payments of customs from certain lands. Tenants of three ploughlands had to provide 24 gallons of beer and 20 cakes each Christmas and six gallons of beer and six cakes  and a quarter of beef each Easter.  The tenants of each ploughland of the demesne of the monastery had to provide four plough days. Each farmer and cottier had to give two boondays each autumn and a hen at Christmas. Each farmer and cottier was required to provide two men for cutting turf and bringing it to the monastery in the tenant’s own carts. According to one record the monastery held 5112 acres.

In 1541 all the manors, lands and liberties of the abbey were granted by Henry VIII to Sir William Bermingham, along with the title Baron of Carbury. William may have been a relative of the last prior, Thomas Bermingham. William also received the monastery and lands of Clonard monastery.

In Queen Elizabeth’s time the abbey was granted to Edward Fitzgerald. In 1608 James re-granted the abbey to Edward Fitzgerald. By 1612 the abbey was in ruins. The lands around the priory passed into the hands of the Langan family of Mount Hevey, Clonard.

Today the ruins have been described as impressive and because of its riverside location a visit is certainly a pleasure. The current ruins date from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. The nave, choir and part of the south transept survive with pointed lancet windows in dressed sandstone. The church must have been one of the biggest in medieval Ireland. The nave was 140 feet (42 metres) in length with the chancel being another 43 feet (16 metres) and a breadth of 8 metres. Against the north wall of the chancel are remains of what might have been a canopied tomb, possibly the tomb of one of the abbey’s patrons. There is a raised area bounded by the south transept and nave which may have been the site of the cloister. There are the traces of a field system associated with the abbey. Spread out over eighteen acres the irregular field system is defined by scarps and ditches.

The buttresses against the southern nave walls were placed there by Lord Lansdowne in the early nineteenth century. Other walls of the monastery were said to have been removed to be used for road paving and house construction.

High up on one of the corners of the walls are two small heads. A story recorded by Beryl Moore from Tom Duffy of Tyrcroghan gives a folk explanation for these figures. According to the story a thirsty stone mason was refused milk from a milk maid but given all he could drink by another maid. He carved the heads so that the sun shines on one head but the other head never sees the sun.


Castlejordan takes its name from a Norman knight named Jordan. It is unclear who this Jordan was; he may have had the surname d’Exeter. According to one version a knight by the name of de Courcy was a standard bearer for the Christian army at the crusades. Because of his bravery he was given the name Jordan after the river. John de Courcy was a major figure in the late twelfth century in Ireland being Lord and Prince of Ulster. De Courcy eventually was expelled from Ulster by the de Lacys of Meath. A version of the story is that John de Courcy had a son, Jordan, who fled to Exeter to escape the wrath of the de Lacys and King John. Jordan d’Exeter (of Exeter) returned to Ireland where he erected a fortress called Castlejordan.  Jordan d’Exeter also founded a branch of the family in county Mayo. Jordan Comyn may have provided the name for the castle and area when he had control in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century.

Castlejordan motte

An earthwork castle, a motte and bailey, was erected. A motte consisted of a raised mound of earth with flattened summit, surmounted by a wooden tower surrounded by a ditch and defended by a wooden palisade. The height of a motte varied, with the ramparts often revetted with stone, timber or turf to prevent the earth slumping. Mottes and baileys varied greatly in size and shape. Many mottes were low in height with broad summits. The size of mottes in Meath appeared to be related to the social standing of the person for whom the motte was erected. The timber castles dominated the surrounding countryside and provided an advantage to the defender; providing a platform from which to observe or throw missiles. Some mottes had attached enclosures, a bailey, at their base.  Baileys provided space for kitchens and halls on areas of better land and in border areas, space for barracks for a garrison.

The motte at Castlejordan covered over two acres and was raised to a height of thirty feet. The oval flat-topped mound within a bailey was protected by a double bank and ditch on the west.  On top of the motte a square stone structure was erected. Within the bailey is the foundations of rectangular building with thick walls deeply buried. The castle was protected by the surrounding rivers. There is also evidence of protective wall erected around the castle. Fr. Callary dated the castle to about 1220, which is regarded by many archaeologists as late for an earthwork castle.

The motte may have been constructed here to protect a ford or crossing on the river. The river would have provided protection from attack from the east.  This crossing was replaced by a bridge. The causeway on the west side of the bridge has two arches with wicker centring which would date it to medieval times. The current bridge is probably nineteenth century in date.

In the late twelfth century this area was part of the lordship of Meath, held by the de Lacy family and their descendents. In the 1240s the territory of Crinegedach, identified as Castlejordan, owed the service of two knights to Sir Geoffrey de Geneville of Trim. The use of the name, Crinegedach, suggests that the area was not yet called Castlejordan.

In 1305 occurs the first record of Jordan Comyn. In that year John Comyn and Sir Peter Bermingham held a large banquet for Maelmora and Calvagh O’Connor of Offaly at Carrick Castle, Edenderry. The two brothers and as many as twenty nine of their kinsmen were slaughtered by their hosts and their heads were sold to the English authorities. The Irish chieftains protested to the Pope in 1315 at their treatment by the English and this treachery was one of the instances given of their bad treatment.

If this is the Jordan Comyn who founded Ballyboggan abbey then the monastery may have been re-endowed by him rather than actually being founded by him. Comyn may have been the Jordan who gave his name to Castlejordan as he seems to have had an impact on this area but the motte castle was certainly from about 1200.

There was a castle at Clonmore. It was recorded as being in ruins in the Ordnance Survey of the 1830s.

Attack by the O’Connors and a new Castlejordan

The stone castle near Castlejordan Bridge was repaired and restored in the time of Henry VII. It is possible that a new castle was constructed at the time. 

Castlejordan Castle

The O’Connors of Offaly were a thorn in the side of the English government in Ireland. In 1528 the clan took the Deputy, Lord Delvin, prisoner. In 1534 the O’Connors of Offaly supported the rebellion of Silken Thomas, Thomas Fitzgerald, against the English. In 1535 William Skeffington, Lord Justice, wrote to Henry VIII from Castlejordan stating that he had marched out of Dublin on August 18th to attack O’Connor and Thomas Fitzgerald who were sheltering in Offaly. O’Connor surrendered to Skeffington as did Thomas Fitzgerald. Relations improved for a period but in 1537 the Lord Deputy invaded the territory of the O’Connors as they had failed to pay a fine of 800 cows.

The lands of the O’Connor became forfeit as did the Fitzgerald lands. In 1540 the O’Connors were again fighting the English and the clan captured and destroyed Castlejordan. Duke, the constable of the castle, was condemned for passing his time in the towns rather than protecting his castle. One of the guards were killed and the rest of the castle occupants taken prisoner. In 1541 garrisons were advocated by Sir Anthony St. Leger, Lord Deputy. He proposed armed garrisons at Kinnegad, Castlejordan, Kilshevan, co. Kildare and Ballinure in Offaly. These castles would protect a vulnerable point from attack by the Irish. Further downstream the Boyne was too wide to be crossed easily and the fords and bridges were protected but at Castlejordan and the surrounding area the rivers were smaller and easily traversed. The Council of Ireland reported to the king that having obtained £200 they intended to erect a tower at Castlejordan, which in the war had been prostrated by O’Connor and also towers at the other sites mentioned. The erection of towers or castles at each place was designed to limit O’Connor’s ability to raid into the Pale.

The new castle served both a domestic and military function.  A rectangular castle with circular towers at opposing angles the building occupied a space approximately 110 metres long and 35 metres wide. The entrance was close to the roadside where visitors entered an outer courtyard. A guardroom protected the entrance to the castle. The remains of two great fireplaces are in the interior walls of the castle. The towers were four or five storey in height. There are a number of musket loops in the walls which would tend to indicate an early 16th century date for construction of this part of the castle.  

The Duke, Gifford and Digby Families

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the lands of Ireland were confiscated by the English crown and ownership transferred to loyal English subjects. The lands of Castlejordan became the property of the Gifford family but other families related to this family also held the lands at various periods.

In the 1550’s the lands of the O’Connors were confiscated and given to English planters. Queen Mary created two new counties. Offaly became King’s County and Laois, the territory of the O’Moores, became Queen’s County. In order to create the new county of Offaly a portion of south Meath was added to the territory of Ui Failghe.

The property of Castlejordan was confiscated from Thomas Lynagh as a result of his participation in the Geraldine Rebellion. The Lynagh family continued to live locally. A lease of the lands was granted to Elizabeth Duke, widow of Henry Duke who later married Richard Croft.

In 1565 Queen Elizabeth made a grant of Castlejordan to Richard Croft with a remainder after his death to Henry Duke and his heirs and a further remainder to Edward Duke. The area was considered uncivilised and Croft was required to defend the frontiers and maintain the castle against the rebels. In 1566 Croft was granted Castlejordan with a remainder to Elizabeth’s sons, Sir Henry and Edward Duke. Sir Henry Duke was also granted the lands of Clones monastery, Co. Monaghan. The Clones lands were re-granted in 1603 by James I to Sir Francis Rush of Castlejordan.

In 1584 Elizabeth re-granted the castle and lands of Clonmore, the manor of Castlejordan, Hardwood and other lands to Richard Croft and Henry Duke. These lands had been the property of Thomas Lynagh who was dispossessed for high treason. Duke had to agree not to use the Brehon (Irish) law and ensure that he, his children and servants used the English language.

The Gifford family originated from Sunbourne, Hampshire, England. John Gifford was the second son of Richard Gifford of Sunbourne. John was a captain in the army in Ireland and he married Elizabeth Brabazon, youngest daughter of Sir William Brabazon, vice treasurer of Ireland. Following the death of John Elizabeth married again, to Sir Henry Duke of Castlejordan. Sir Henry died in 1595 leaving two daughters by his first wife, Anne and Mary. Mary married Richard Gifford, son of Richard.

Anne, daughter of Henry Duke, married Edward Loftus, second son of Adam Loftus, archbishop of Dublin. Edward Loftus acquired the manors of Killyon, Clonard and a larger stretch of Meath lands. Anne died in childbirth in 1601. Edward is said to have died at the siege of Kinsale in the same year. 

Mary, daughter of Sir Henry and Elizabeth, became the heiress and she first married Richard Gifford of Ballymagarret, Co. Roscommon, who was killed in the war with the O’Connors in 1598.  In 1596 Richard Gifford and Edward Loftus surrendered the rectories of Castlejordan and Ballyboggan to the Queen and they were re-granted them back a short time later. Mary and Richard had a son, John. Mary married secondly Sir Francis Rush who died in 1623. Mary and Sir Francis had a son, Thomas, who died unmarried and three daughters. Eleanor married Sir Robert Loftus, son and heir of Adam, Viscount Ely. Mary married Sir Charles Coote and died in 1623. The third sister was Anne.  Mary married thirdly to Sir John Jepson.

In 1601 Castlejordan was one of the few castles to hold out against the Irish.

In 1627 King Charles I renewed the grant of Clonmore, Castlejordan and other lands to Mary in consideration of the services of her father and husband  against the Irish rebels.

John Gifford and his mother, now styled Lady Jepson, defended Castlejordan against rebels in 1642. A siege of the castle lasted more than two months. John Gifford married Elizabeth Jepson, stepdaughter to his mother. In 1647 the Irish leader, Eoghan Roe O’Neill, captured Castlejordan and used it as his headquarters.

Martha Temple – Lady Gifford

In 1661 Thomas Gifford of Castlejordan was knighted and made a baron. He married Martha Temple, sister of Sir William Temple, on 21 April 1662. He died the same day and it was said that Martha was a maid, wife and widow all on the same day. William Temple was ambassador to The Netherlands and on his return to England succeeded his father as master of the rolls in Ireland.

John Gifford died about 1676 at Castlejordan. His eldest son, Duke Gifford, succeeded him.  Duke married Elizabeth Handcock about 1685. In the settlement of 1696 the Gifford family were confirmed in their lands at Castlejordan, Clonmore, Hardwood and other lands. Duke Gifford was Member of Parliament for Philipstown (now Daingean) for two periods, 1692-3 and 1695-9. In 1695 Duke Gifford was High Sheriff of Meath and in 1699 Deputy Governor of King’s County. He died in June 1707 and was succeeded by his son, Thomas. 

Sir Thomas Gifford married Eleanor Edgeworth and had a son, Sir Duke Gifford. Sir Thomas mortgaged the lands to E. Dillon in 1730 and this resulted in a major court case in 1804. Archbishop Hort of Tuam took over some of the mortgage in 1747. Sir Thomas Gifford died in 1761 and Sir Duke Gifford inherited. Sir Duke died in 1798 and was succeeded by his son, also Sir Duke Gifford. In 1781 Sir Duke Gifford married Maria Arabella Maddock, daughter of Rev. Hinton Maddock of Darland Denby, Wales. Maria Edgeworth described her as “perfectly natural, daring to be herself, gentle, sprightly, amiable, and engaging.” In December 1801 Sir Duke the younger died leaving Sir Thomas Richard Walter Gifford, a minor, as his heir. Maria Arabella married secondly to John Henry Petty, Earl of Wycome. Lady Bessborough, described her at the time of her second marriage as a “fat vulgar Irish woman near fifty.” The Petty-Fitzmaurice family, who held the title Marquess of Lansdowne, were one of the biggest landowners in Ireland from the 1650 to 1900. William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, was prime minister of Great Britain from 1782-3. In 1784 he became 1st Marquess Lansdowne and died in 1805. His son, John Henry, succeeded to the title in 7 May 1805 and on 27 May that year married his mistress, Maria Arabella, the widow of Sir Duke Gifford. He died in 1809. Maria Arabella died in 1833. John was succeeded by his half-brother, Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice as the third Marquess. Henry was a British statesman serving as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the early 1840s Lansdowne sent seventy people from the parish of Ballyboggan to North America when he consolidated the farms on the estate.

John Henry Lansdowne

Sir Thomas Gifford must have died young and unmarried as by 1836 his five sisters were sharing the estate while the Marquess of Lansdowne also held part of the estate. The eminent physicist, geologist and engineer, John Joly, was the grandson of Maria Gifford of Castlejordan.

Colehill was the residence of the Digby family in the sixteenth century. The Digby family originated at Coleshill, Warwickshire from which the townland name is derived. Francis Digby of Coleshill, Warwickshire, who died in 1562, is buried in Castlejordan churchyard. The Fitzgeralds of Kildare held lands at Ballyboggan in the sixteenth century. Gerald, the eleventh Earl of Kildare,  died in 1585. In October 1578 Lettice Fitzgerald, daughter of Gerald, Lord Offaly and grand-daughter of Earl Gerald married Robert Digby. Robert was knighted in 1596 and was a Member of Parliament for Athy in 1613. On the death of her uncle in 1599 Lettice and her husband laid claim to the barony of Offaly as part of the estate of her grandfather. This resulted in litigation between the Digbys and the Kildares.  Robert Digby died in 1618 and was buried at Coleshill, Warwickshire. Lettice, now Lady Digby and Baroness of Offaly, resided at Geashill Castle, Co. Offaly where she withstood a siege of many months in 1642, until released by Sir Richard Greville. She retired to Coleshill, Warwickshire, where she died in 1658 aged about 79 years. Geashill gave a title of Baron to the now extinct earldom of Digby. A member of the Digby family was later clergyman in Castlejordan.

Wars in the 1600s

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stafford stayed at Castlejordan in January 1635. Wentworth was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. A supporter of Charles I Wentworth was appointed lord deputy of Ireland in 1632.  Wentworth opposed any relaxation of anti-Catholic laws and attempted to confiscate Irish lands. In 1639 Wentworth was recalled to London, impeached and executed.

The 1641 depositions chronicle the harrowing events of the uprising by Catholic landowners against plantation settlers in the early seventeenth century. The rebellion, which began on 22 October 1641, led to more than a decade of violence and was one of the excuses used by Cromwell for coming to Ireland. The depositions record the claims for compensation by the Protestant settlers who suffered at the hands of the Catholic rebels. While many certainly do chronicle real events others were exaggerated in order to secure increased compensation.

There are a number of mentions of Castlejordan in the depositions. Jane Mansfield of Castlejordan was robbed of her goods and chattels by a rabble of robbers near Milltown in County Kildare. She was described as old and sickly and not able to work. Other depositions related the story of Ellen Ni Kelwey of Castlejordan, an unmarried woman who bore a child for a married man, Tirlogh O Doran. The child was murdered and buried in a dunghill but was dug up by a mastiff dog belonging to a Rochford man from Castlejordan and brought to the mother’s door. Captain George Cusack, Governor of Ticroghan, ordered Ellen burned at the stake for her crimes.  Cusack forced people to bring timber and material for the fire and poor Ellen was tied to a post and burned to death. Knockinagoly, within a mile of Ticroghan, was identified as the place of the execution, perhaps this was a misspelling for Knockersollagh. Nine people gave their accounts of the case and these reports are now preserved in Trinity College.

In 1642 Castlejordan, Kinnegad and Ardmullen were taken by Sir Charles Coote who marched to Trim and took the town. Sir Charles and the Protestant Army were received by Sir John Gifford at Castlejordan. Sir Luke Fitzgerald of Ticroghan refused to join them and so the army took what they needed from Sir Luke’s lands. They arrived at Castlejordan on 27th April 1642 and had captured seventeen priests on the way. The following day most of the army marched to Philipstown and took on the way a “fort the rebels called Baliboying, with little trouble, they being given to running away, wee hanged some stragglers still as we went.” The army took Philipstown and then returned to Castlejordan before going on to take Trim.

In 1642 Lord Lisle acting under orders of Ormonde marched to relieve Lady Offaly who was besieged in her castle at Geasehill. Sir John Gifford and Castlejordan was also re-supplied and the area around it burned. The army attacked and took Trim. 

In 1643 Castlejordan was described as ‘a castle well manned and fortified, commanding a large district of country, and belonging to Sir John Gifford, an officer in the English Army’. General Preston of the Irish forces marched towards Castlejordan taking various castles on the route.  The news that Preston was about to besiege Castlejordan spurred the Dublin authorities into action. In June 1643 Colonel Monk, acting under the orders of the Marquess of Ormond, marched out of Dublin to oppose General Preston and the forces of Eoghan Roe O’Neill. Monk marched from Dublin on June 26 with a force of one thousand foot and was soon joined by five hundred more and three hundred and fifty horse. Monk advanced as far as Castlejordan which was being threatened by the forces of Preston who had an army of seven thousand men within two miles of the castle. Monk rescued what people he could but due to no food supplies and the want of cattle, bread and shoes he retreated back to Dublin in early July. Preston took Croghan, Ticroghan, Balliburley, Ballibritten, Edenderry, Kinefad and all the forts in Offaly except Castlejordan. Ormond then marched from Dublin and re-took some of the forts around Castlejordan.  The Irish took Castlejordan in 1651 and burnt the castle and 300 haggards of corn near Ticroghan.


The Fitzgerald family of Ticroghan were descended from the earls of Kildare. The family were a prominent noble family in medieval Ireland. The earldom was created in 1316.  In the sixteenth century Garret Mór Fitzgerald served as Lord Deputy of Ireland as did his son Garret Óg. Thomas Fitzgerald, Silken Thomas, led a rebellion in 1534, was defeated and executed. In 1569 the Kildare family were restored to their title and lands.

George Fitzgerald established the family at Ticroghan in the 1500s.  The family held lands in Meath and Westmeath. George married Lady Alisona St. Lawrence, daughter of Christopher, Lord Howth and they were succeeded by their son, Sir Edward Fitzgerald. In 1599 Lord Mountjoy stayed at the house of Sir Edward at Ticroghan, situated in ‘a pleasant and fruitful country’. Sir Edward married Alison Barnewall of Crickstown and their eldest son, Luke, succeeded to the title and lands. Sir Luke was born about 1586.

In the 1620s the Catholics of Ireland were seeking recognition of their religion and freedom to hold their estates. In 1625 Sir Luke Fitzgerald was recommended by the lord treasurer for a subordinate position in an auxiliary force to be raised in the counties of the Pale. Fitzgerald was obviously someone of stature in order to be nominated for this position. In 1639 Sir Luke was made responsible for the raising of troops for a Catholic army for the Pale.

Sir Luke married the Hon. Mary Netterville of Dowth and they had children. George was the eldest son. They had a daughter, Helena, who married Colonel Henry O’Neill, Eoghan Roe O’Neill’s son. The leader of the Irish Forces in the 1640s Eoghan Roe O’Neill returned from France to fight for Catholic rights. Henry and Helena’s son, Hugh, was born at Ticroghan about 1647. Henry was put to death at the end of the Confederate Wars when Hugh was only a child. Hugh was brought from Ireland to Brussels and then onto Rome and finally to Spain. Here he became Colonel of the Regiment of Tyrone and knight in the Spanish military order of Calatrava in 1667.  Hugh could claim to be the sixth Earl of Tyrone.  Other records show that Eleanor/Helena Fitzgerald married Theobald Bourke, Viscount Mayo and she died in 1684.  It is unclear if these are two different daughters or the same daughter or the facts are confused. The son from Helena’s marriage to Henry O’Neill became the Earl of Tyrone. From her marriage to Theobald Bourke the Marquess of Sligo and the Brownes of Westport House families are descended. Another daughter, Jane, married Mathew Plunkett, 7th Lord Louth.

Sir Luke Fitzgerald took an active part in the activities of the Confederate Wars of the 1640s. For his activities Sir Luke was outlawed in 1642. He was a regular correspondent with Ormond, one of the leaders of the Irish army. Sir Luke was one of Ormond’s emissaries to Eoghan Roe O’Neill in 1649 to negotiate a peace settlement.

A stone castle was constructed at Ticroghan possibly in the fifteenth or sixteenth century.  The castle may have been constructed at the time that the Fitzgeralds became the resident lords of Ticroghan. The castle was also known as Queen Mary’s Castle possibly after Queen Mary Tudor but more likely after Lady Mary Fitzgerald who defended the castle in the 1640s and 1650s.

Ticroghan Castle

The castle was located in an island in the bog. The castle was only a few miles from the main east west road across Ireland and so was in a strategic position. The castle at Ticroghan was of such importance that during the Confederate Wars of the 1640s it was known as one of the two great pillars of Leinster.

The castle was further strengthened by the addition of earthwork defences. It is suggested that the earthworks were created at the time of the Confederate Wars in the 1640s and based on a French design. The castle was surrounded by a rampart and bastion of earth and a deep dyke.

In 1647 Ticroghan was described as being exceptionally strong by nature of the ground, the site and addition of skill. In 1650 it was described as having huge ditches, strong rampiers and turrets above the castle. The marks of the earthworks are clearly visible in an aerial photograph. The ditches and fosses can be clearly seen in the grassy field.

By 1837 the castle at Ticroghan had been taken down and its material used for house construction and the repair of the main Dublin–Galway turnpike road.

The Battle of Ticroghan 1650

The battle of Ticroghan was part of the Irish Confederate Wars. These wars were fought between the Irish forces, the English forces and the Royalist forces and concluded as a war between the Irish and the forces of Cromwell.

The Irish rising of October 1641 rapidly escalated into a war that involved Ireland, Scotland and England. The uprising began in Ulster and had spread through the whole of Ireland by the spring of 1642, gathering force as the predominantly Catholic Anglo-Irish aristocracy joined the native Irish insurgents. These forces included Luke Fitzgerald. Troops were sent from England and Scotland to quell the uprising but Irish forces became more organised with the inauguration of the Confederation of Kilkenny in May 1642 and the return of exiled veterans to fight for Ireland and the Roman Catholic faith.

King Charles I attempted to come to terms with the Confederates in the hope of using Irish soldiers against the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. The Confederate Assembly became deeply divided over the negotiations, with hardline followers of Archbishop Rinuccini demanding the full restoration of the Catholic Church in Ireland, while moderate Anglo-Irish noblemen worked for a negotiated religious settlement with the king. Luke Fitzgerald is said to have taken part in the Confederate Assembly at Kilkenny. The wars in England and Scotland prolonged and complicated the Irish war. Neither the Confederates, the Parliamentarians nor the Royalists were able to deliver a decisive military blow. The King’s Deputy, the Marquess of Ormond, surrendered Dublin to English Parliamentarian forces in 1647 rather than allow the city to fall to the Catholic Confederates. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649 Ormond negotiated the Second Ormond Peace, which secured an uneasy alliance between the Royalists, the Irish Confederates and the Ulster Scots against the English Parliamentarians. The Confederate Wars ended with the conquest of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army in 1649-52.

Because of its strategic position on the road to the west Ticroghan castle played a role throughout the war. From the early 1640s Eoghan Roe O’Neill used Ticroghan castle as a base for the Ulster Army. In 1642 Sir Charles Coote and his army marched against Sir Luke Fitzgerald and he refused to engage with them even though they went within musket shot of the castle. Sir John Gifford of nearby Castlejordan supported Sir Charles Coote. In 1643 Fitzgerald provided Eoghan Roe O’Neill with a cannon which was used to bombard Portlester resulting in the defeat of Lord Moore by O’Neill. In 1646 Ulick Burke, the earl of Clanricarde and his forces massed at Ticroghan. In 1647 following Thomas Prestons’s defeat at the battle of Dungan’s Hill he and his forces fled to the safety of Ticroghan castle. Cromwell arrived in Ireland in August 1649 and Ormond and the Confederate army camped at Ticroghan while Cromwell laid siege to Drogheda in August 1649.

Major Luke Maguire was placed in charge of Ticroghan while Fitzgerald was serving with the army. Robert Talbot was despatched to replace him. Maguire was reluctant to transfer his authority to Talbot as he mistrusted him. On the reassurances of Lady Mary Fitzgerald Maguire transferred his command of the castle to Talbot.

In May 1650 Ticroghan came under threat from the Parliamentary forces. A siege of the castle began. Nearby Leggar takes its name from the Irish word, léagar, meaning siege and so the English forces must have been located in that area. Lady Fitzgerald took an active part in the defence of the castle being nicknamed Colonel Mary.

One of the Irish commanders, Clanricarde, was ordered to lead forces across the Shannon to protect the castle. Clanricarde and Castlehaven arranged to gather at Tyrellspass before marching to Ticroghan to relieve the castle. Clanricarde had a force of 2,600 men, including 800 horse. Parliamentary forces under Reynolds and John Hewson arrived at the castle in May but Hewson departed with a number of companies to Wicklow. The castle was surrounded by a force of 1,400 English infantry and 1,200 cavalry, entrenched behind crude earthworks. 

Shortly before the battle Clanrickarde withdrew, leaving Castlehaven in charge of the attack. On the 19th June Castlehaven ordered his cavalry to attack the enemy’s flank. The Irish forces were to advance through the bog. The cavalry were dismounted and they were to advance on foot. The Irish column moved forward meeting the English force at Tocar Gearr, four miles away from the castle. The Irish forces under Richard Burke drove the English forces back on the right flank. A sudden attack was made by the English on the right flank and in the centre which resulted in the Irish being driven back. Panic took hold and the Irish retreated. A number of the Irish soldiers made it safely to reinforce the castle. Casualties in the engagement were small, with one account recording that as few as five men died on the Irish side. The battle is considered a minor victory for the Irish as they managed to achieve their objective of providing new troops to the castle and disrupting the besieging army.

A number of sallies were made by the Irish forces from the castle in following days but the English forces were reinforced and the Irish leaders realised that they could not get the siege lifted.

Sir Robert Talbot and Lady Fitzgerald surrendered the castle on 25 June. The terms were lenient with the garrison allowed to march out with their weapons and serve elsewhere in Ireland.

A story is told that the besiegers were about to give up when they saw that the garrison were using silver bullets and realised that the castle’s inhabitants were running out of ammunition and had melted down the family silver. There were also suggestions at the time that Talbot was a traitor surrendering the castle while there were still supplies which would have allowed it to hold out for further weeks or even six months.

In the 1650s Ticroghan had a castle, mill and diverse cabins and farm houses.

The church at Ticroghan may date from the eighteenth century. Ticroghan is not mentioned in the 1693 list of churches recorded by Bishop Dopping.  In the 1860s Dean Cogan wrote “The old church of Tycroghan measures thirty-five feet nine inches by sixteen feet six inches. It seems to have been used for Protestant service some years back.” The graveyard is circular and contains the vault of the Fitzgerald family which could imply that the vault may have existed prior to the church.

Civil Survey and land transfer

Sir Luke Fitzgerald was the owner of the parish of Ballyboggan in 1654. The townlands listed were Ballebogan, Harristowne, Ballinikilly, Knockanguolly, Knockanbrian and Killoskillin. He held 8,560 acres in the barony of Farbill, Co. Westmeath.  Sir Luke held  the manor and lands of Ballyboggan, Harristowne, Ballinekill alias Woodtowne, Knockanegoly, Parke, Killoskillen and Cappavoghan, Baltogery, Kilneclonagh, Killnegallagh, Baltonoran, Ballinebrackey, part of Ballinegalsey and 3092 acres in the barony of Lune, Co. Meath, including Ballivor, Kildalkey and Donore.

These lands were forfeited under the Act for the Settling of Ireland. Connacht was chosen as the place of transplantation by Parliament and all those convicted were to transplant themselves by May of 1654. Sir Luke Fitzgerald was sentenced to be transplanted and was granted 2031 acres in the barony of Athenry; 2034 acres in the barony of Kilconnell and in the barony of Ross, all Co. Galway. Lady Mary Fitzgerald wrote that as a result of the transplantation all the gentry were forced to live under the sky or in conditions resembling siege conditions.

After the death of Cromwell and the restoration of Charles II as king the new ruler was forced to try to solve the land problem in Ireland. Charles attempted to restore the previous landowners but often did not force the issue as the new owners were a strong political force. Charles II in his 1660 Declaration stated that Sir Luke’s son, George Fitzgerald of Ticroghan, was to be restored to his estates. The soldiers were to be turned immediately ‘out of the dwelling house’. 

In 1661 Mary, widow of Sir Luke Fitzgerald, made petition for the restoration of her husband’s lands. The Fitzgeralds could not be restored and pleaded for a pension or the quick rents of the estate. A Court of Claims was established in 1663 to hear cases from owners who wished to have their claims to lands recognised. A Second Court of Claims was held in 1665. Mary Fitzgerald made a claim as joint owner of her lands with her husband in the Second Court of Claims in 1665.

Luke’s eldest son, George, served Charles II while he was abroad. George Fitzgerald made an application for return of the lands at Ballyboggan, Castlejordan, Ticroghan, Clonard, Killeconnigan, Kildalkey, Trim, Killyon and County Kildare. He retrieved some estate lands at Ticroghan following the restoration of Charles II in 1660. This was a difficult and lengthy process. In some cases he purchased his own lands back from the English soldiers who had been granted them by Cromwell.

George married Jane, the daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Carey of Portlester. They had only one daughter who married her cousin, Henry Fitzgerald of Rathrone. The Fitzgerald family of Ticroghan and Rathrone died out in the late 1700s. 

In 1654 Sir John Gifford of Castlejordan held the townlands of Castlejordan and Kildengen. The townlands of Ballinibrachy, Ballinigallsy, Ballinoran and Clonaghpishan were held by Sir John Giffard, Pierce Lynagh, Oliver Lynagh and Sir Luke Fitzgerald.


In 1695 William Edmundson, a noted Quaker missionary, visited the area where he held a ‘comfortable meeting near Castle Jordan, many Friends of our Monthly Meeting being with me there.’ Edmundson was regarded as the father of Quakerism in Ireland. Born in England he served as a trooper in Cromwell’s army. In 1652 he left the army and came to Ireland  and two years later he converted to Quakerism. Edmundson first settled in Antrim but moved to Rosenallis, near Mountmellick. He devoted his life to preaching and travelled to the West Indies and America on three occasions. He and his family suffered from attacks by the Irish during the 1689-90 wars. He died in 1712 and his journal was published in 1715.


Castlejordan played a role in the defeat of the United Irishmen in 1798. Thomas Reynolds became a United Irishman as a result of the persuasion of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Reynolds held Kilkea Castle, Co. Kildare and was married to a sister of Wolfe Tone’s wife. 

Thomas Reynolds visited Sir Duke Gifford at Castlejordan to discuss business affairs relative to the estate at Corbetstown which was in Sir Duke’s possession. Russell and his companion, Mr. Cope, dined and slept at Castlejordan. The future Marquess of Lansdowne and other gentlemen dined at Castlejordan that night. Conversation turned to the disturbed state of the country. The discussion continued between Cope and Reynolds on the return journey to Dublin. Reynolds became convinced that he needed to reveal the plans of the United Irishmen to the government in order to save the country. Reynolds’s information led to the seizure of a number of conspirators at the house of Oliver Bond on 12th March 1798 but Reynolds had warned Lord Edward Fitzgerald of the possibility of arrest and so he was not taken prisoner.

On 11 July 1798 the sheriff’s house at Leinster Bridge, Clonard, was attacked by the last remnants of the great Wexford/Wicklow army. Four thousand rebels attacked the fortified house which was guarded by Lieutenant Thomas Tyrell and a garrison of twenty seven men. A desperate struggle, lasting nearly six hours, ended in defeat for the rebels. The rebels had 160 killed and sixty wounded, whereas the loyalists had two killed and three wounded, one of whom died later. The rebels retreated to Carbury where they spent the night.

Fr. Mogue Kearns, one of the rebel leaders, had been a curate at Balyna and so would have known the area. Fr. Kearns was captured by the yeomanry and hanged at Edenderry on 21 July 1798.

Crime and other events

In 1778 on a Saturday night, a number of armed villains  went on to the lands of Castlejordan and houghed (cut off the hooves, which resulted in death) of eighteen black cattle and between seventy and eighty sheep. They left a threatening letter for the proprietor, a Quaker, saying if he did not sell a  quarter of beef for eight shillings and mutton proportionally cheap they would return, burn and destroy his house and every other part of his property.

James Crawford, the Chief Constable of Edenderry district, reported on details of crime in the area to a Parliamentary Committee in 1834. He said that on 2nd March at about 12 o’clock at night an armed party entered the house of John Commins of Clonmore and robbed him of a trifle of money. Between 12 and one o’clock the same night an armed party, probably the same group, entered the house of George Commins of Clonmore and robbed him of two pair of shoes and some leather. The sub-inspector said the people of the district were generally well disposed and ‘were it not for the incursions of an evil-disposed set of ruffians from the counties of Kildare and Meath, there would be little to complain of.’

In 1791 a company proposed the construction of a canal between Carbury and Kinnegad as an extension of the Grand Canal. Parliament did not support the proposal.

In 1831-2 session of the House of Commons, Henry Grattan M.P. for Meath requested the abolition of tithes for the inhabitants of Castlejordan.

Medical Care

A dispensary was established at Clonard in 1822. In 1836 the dispensary as described as one wretched room in a labourer’s cottage which in point of repair, cleanliness etc was wretched in the extreme. The medical officer lived at Ballyboggan in a two storey house erected by the Marquess of Lansdowne. The medical officer attended at Clonard on a Monday and at Kinnegad on a Saturday.

In the 1840s Castlejordan and Ballyboggan became part of the Edenderry Union. A workhouse was constructed to serve the Union at Edenderry.

Ballyboggan in the Ordnance Survey 1836

John O’Donovan travelled around Ireland in the 1830s to record townland names and details for the Ordnance Survey.

He recorded the name ‘Ballyboggan’ is derived from Baile Uí Bhogain’, O’Bogan’s town. The parish is the central parish in the barony of Upper Moyfenrath in the county of Meath and stretches from the county of Westmeath on the west to the county Kildare on the east. It is separated from Kildare by the river Boyne. Clonard parish lies to the north and Castlejordan lies to the to the south. It contained 6222 acres. The owner of the parish in 1836 was the Marquess of Lansdowne.  There was a small quantity of bog, while the remainder of the parish was equally split between tillage and pasture.

Ballyboggan townland – The Marquess of Lansdowne encouraged tenants to drain and ditch so that the land yielded good crops. The average cess (tax) was 5d per acres. It is situated five miles from Edenderry and four from Kinnegad.

Ballynakill townland – Baile na Coille means town of the wood. Kinnegad is the market town. About half the townland was in grass and the tillage half yielded good crops.

Park townland– Páirc means field. The owner was Mr. Digby and others. Mr. Digby lived at Newpark House.

Harristown townland – Named after a family called Harris. The owner was the Marquess of Lansdowne who set the lands to tenants. The fields were large and well fenced and were under grazing. Edenderry was the market town although two miles further away than Kinnegad. There was a holy well in this townland called Tobar na Croiche Naomh, meaning the well of the Holy Cross. Stations were performed at the well.

Knockersally or Colehill townland – Cnockan Salach means the dirty hillock or the hillock covered with sallies or willows. There was a large bog on the north side of the townland. The townland was owned by the Marquess of Lansdowne who let it to Colonel Levinge and three others at 2/6 per acres forever and it was sublet to tenants at will from 16/ to 20/ per acres. Tenants at will had no tenancy agreement and could be dispossessed at any time.

Killiskilling townland – Coill a Sciollain means the wood of the small fruit. The townland was the property of the Marquess of Lansdowne. In wet weather the Kinnegad river overflowed considerably on the adjoining lands. The land gave good crops of hay. There were 150 acres of bog in this townland.

Castlejordan in the Ordnance Survey 1836

Castlejordan parish is situated at the south-west extremity of the county of Meath. On the north and west sides it is bounded by the county of Westmeath, on the south west and west side it is bounded by King’s County (Offaly) and on the east by the Boyne and County Kildare. To the north east it is bounded by the parish of Ballyboggan. The proprietors of the parish were the co-heiresses of the late Duke Giffard, the Marquess of Lansdowne and Peter Nugent Fitzgerald.

Ballydonnell – The name means the town of Donnell. It was the property of the co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard. It was principally under tillage. 

Ballyfore – O’Donovan derived the name from the cold town. It belonged to the co-heiresses of Sir Duke Giffard and was set to tenants at will.

Balnagelsh townland – O’Donovan said the name means the town of the English woman. It was the property of Peter Nugent Fitzgerald.

Baltygere townland – The name means the towns of the berries. It was the property of the Marquess of Lansdowne. The townland was let to Mr. Boyd who sublet to under tenants. The townland was principally under tillage.

Baltynoran townland – The name means the towns of the cold spring. It was the property of Peter Nugent Fitzgerald. It was principally under tillage and yielded fair crops.

Cappaghboggan townland – Ceapa boguin means the plot in the bog. The Marquess of Lansdowne let it for 15/ to 24/ per acres with leases of 21 years. Mostly in tillage and the crops were fair.  There seems to have been some dispute as to whether this townland was in Castlejordan or Ballyboggan civil parishes.

Castlejordan townland – This townland was the property of the co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard. All the townland was under tillage and yielded good crops. (The main house near the castle was erected by Paul Gill in 1882.)

Clongall townland – Clongall means the lawn or the meadow of the stranger. The townland was the property of the co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard. The townland had been forest and was let to tenants at £1 to £1 6s. 3d. per acre. 

Derryinch townland – The name means the wood of the island or the water meadow. It was the property of Peter Nugent Fitzgerald and let to Thomas Carew. Carew sublet the land to four undertenants. About fifty acres in the centre of the townland was cultivated with the remainder being bog and meadow land.

Gurtnahoran – The name means the barley fields. The townland was the property of Peter Nugent Fitzgerald. There was a schoolhouse in the townland supported by voluntary contributions.

Kildangan – The name means the wood of the fastness. It belonged to the co-heiresses of Sir Duke Giffard and was set to tenants at will.

Kilkeerane – The name is derived from St. Kieran’s church. The townland was the property of the co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard and was set in one farm on a lease of 31 years or 3 lives at £1 per acre. Half the townland was in tillage with the other half in grazing.

Lewellen’s holdings – The name is derived from a Welsh name. The townland was the property of the co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard and was let to tenants at will.

Thour- The name is derived from the Irish word for tower. The townland was the property of the co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard and was let to tenants at will. Part of the townland was bog with the remainder under tillage.

Toornafulla – The name means the tower of blood or the bush of the blood. It is a small townland and the property of the co-heiresses of Sir Duke Giffard. It was let to Mr. Carew on a lease of 3 lives or 31 years. The townland was principally under tillage, yielding good crops.

The King’s County (Offaly) side of the parish was treated separately to the Meath side of the parish. A different surveyor recorded it and he did not included land ownership or much detail on land usage.

Clonmore – The name was derived from the great meadow.  Clonmore Castle was in ruins. The townland included tillage and pasture land. Bawn village consisted of fifteen houses was in the western portion of Clonmore townland. The name ‘bawn’ may be derived from lea ground or an enclosure. The Harrow of Clonmore received its name from a sign for a public house which bore the picture of a harrow. There was a public house and a limestone quarry in the south part of the townland. (The current building dates from about 1900 and a shop operated from the building from then until about 1948.)

Killowen – The name is derived from Owen’s wood. There was a small portion of bog on its southern boundary. There was a limestone quarry near Killowen Fort.

Stone House – There was a marsh on the northern boundary of the townland.

Corbetstown – There was a small portion of bog in the western corner of this townland.

Carrick – The name is derived from a rock. A large portion of the townland was bog. In the south portion of the townland was the four house village of Derraghgawney village. Nearby was a pond on the south side of the road.

Garr – The name means a cut. One third of the townland was bog. On the road between Rhode and Castlejordan stood the village of Leanaghgabbagh. There were seven houses, a garden and a small portion of planting. In the south of the townland was Sallybog Place consisting of one house and a ruin. Mount Place was also in the south of the townland.

Knockdring – The name means the hill of the conflict. The greatest portion of the townland was bog.

Derrygreenagh – The name means the wood of the sloe bushes. Most of the townland consisted of bog.

Newtown –  Newtown Lodge was situated in the townland. The townland had a large portion of bog.

Clonlock – The name means the lawn or the meadow of the flag-stones. Clonlack House was in this townland.

Clonmeen – The name means the smooth lawn or meadow.

Tubberdaly – The name means Daly’s well. The townland had two big houses, Toberdaly and Killure. Toberdaly house was described as handsomely situated and having a garden and a small portion of wood and ornamental ground attached. (Toberdaly house dates from about 1830. At Toberdaly a tower house from the middle ages was adapted as a gazebo about 1780.)  The name Killure is derived from the wood of the yew. The house had a small garden and planting attached.

Ballyboggan and Castlejordan in 1837

Taken from Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland

BALLYBOGGAN, or DE-LAUDE-DEI, a parish, in the barony of Upper Moyfenragh, county of Meath, and province of Leinster, 2 ½ miles (S.W.) from Clonard, on the river Boyne, and on the road from Kinnegad to Edenderry; containing 1477 inhabitants. A priory for Augustine Canons was founded here in the 12th century by Jordan Comin, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity; it was consumed by fire in the beginning of 1446, and in the following year its prior died of the plague. In the 33rd of Hen. VIII. it was granted with various other possessions, to Sir William Bermingham, afterwards created Lord Carbrey, in capite, at an annual rent of £4.3.4; and the reversion was, in the 41st of Elizabeth, granted to Edward Fitzgerald and his heirs: there are some remains of the buildings on the north-west bank of the River Boyne. There is a small quantity of bog in the parish. New Park is the property of the Rev. J. Digby. A fair for cattle is held on the 25th of September. It is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Meath, episcopally united to that of Castlejordan; the rectory is impropriate in the Gifford family. The tithes amount to £220, the whole payable to the impropriator, who allows the perpetual curate £30 per annum. In the R.C. divisions the parish also forms part of the union or district of Castlejordan. There are two pay schools, in which are 80 boys and 11 girls; and a dispensary.

CASTLEJORDAN, or GUNGEDAH, a parish, partly in the barony of Upper Moyfenragh, county of Meath, and partly in the barony of Coolestown, but chiefly in  that of Warrenstown, King’s County and province of  Leinster, 3 ¼  miles (S.W.) from Kinnegad; containing 3967 inhabitants.  This parish is situated on the road from Trim to Philipstown, and on the river Boyne, which separates it from the county of Kildare.  There is a very large extent of bog; and gritstone used for building is procured from some quarries in the parish.  The gentlemen’s seats are Kildangan, the residence of E. Haughton, Esq. and Tubberdaly of J. Downing Nesbitt, Esq.  The living is an impropriate cure, in the diocese of Meath, united by diocesan authority to that of Ballyboggan; the rectory is wholly impropriate in the heirs of the late Sir Duke Gifford, to whom the tithes, amounting to £380, are payable.  The annual income of the curate is £100 late currency, of which £30 is paid by the impropriators and £70 by the Trustees of Primate Boulter’s augmentation fund.  The church, which is in the county of Meath, was built in 1826, at an expense of £664. 12. 1., defrayed by aid of a loan from the late Board of First Fruits.  There is neither glebe-house nor glebe.  In the R.C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, also called Boughilnebracnay, comprising Castle-Jordan and Ballyboggan, and containing two chapels.  There are five private schools, in which about 190 children are educated.  Here are the ruins of a castle, formerly occupied by the Giffords.

Ballyboggan and Castlejordan in 1846

From the Parliamentary Directory

CASTLE-JORDAN, a parish partly in the baronies of Coolestown and Warrenstown, King’s County, partly in the barony of Upper Moyfenragh, co. Meath, and 34 miles south-south-west of Kinnegad, Leinster. Length of the Meath section, south-eastward, 4½ miles; extreme breadth, 1 ⅝; area, 4518 acres, 1 rood, 4 perches. The King’s Co. portion consists of two districts — the main body of the Warrenstown section, and a detached part of that section and the main body of the Coolestown section, forming one district, and lying 1¾ mile south of the former. Length of the main body of the Warrenstown section, westward, 6½ miles; extreme breadth, 2½. Length of the conjoint district of Warrenstown and Coolestown, south-south-eastward, 3¼ miles; extreme breadth, 2¼. Area of the Warrenstown section, 11,052 acres, 3 roods, 18 perches; of the detached part of that section, 1,552¼ acres. Area of the Coolestown section, 1,801 acres, 2 roods, 7 perches. Population of the whole, in 1831, 3,967; in 1841, 4,079. Houses 661. Pop. of the Coolestown section, in 1831, 373; in 1841, 273. Houses 42. Pop. of the Warrenstown section, in 1831, 2,049; in 1841, 2,159. Houses 341. The land is to a large extent unprofitable, boggy, or at best inferior; and, over a very small extent, is tolerably good. The highest ground in the Meath section has an altitude above sea-level of 318 feet; and the highest summits in the main body of the Warrenstown section have altitudes of 288 and 319 feet. The district jointly belonging to Warrenstown and Coolestown is traversed by the Grand Canal, and contains the residences of Newton Lodge, Clonmeen, Clonlack, Toberdaly, and Killure. This parish is wholly impropriate; and is united to the impropriate rectory of  Ballyboggan, to form the perpetual curacy, and the benefice of Castle-Jordan, in the diocese of Meath. Length, 7 miles; breadth, 6. Population in 1831, 5,444. The tithes of Castle-Jordan are compounded for £380, and belong to five co-heiresses of the late Sir Duke Giffard. Stipend allowed from both parishes by the impropriators, £27 13s. 10½d. Gross and nett income, £92 5s. 10½d. Patrons, the impropriators. The church was built in 1824, by means of a loan of £923 1s. 6½d. from the late Board of First Fruits. Sittings 100; attendance, about 40. The Roman Catholic chapel has an attendance of 600. In 1834, the Protestants of the parish amounted to 60, and the Roman Catholics to 4,024; the Protestants of the union to 155, and the Roman Catholics to 5,455; and 7 pay daily schools in the union —5 of which were in Castle-Jordan—had on their books 161 boys and 57 girls. In 1840, the National Board granted £111 5s. towards the erection of a boys’ school and a girls’ school at Balnabreaky.

BALLYBOGGAN, a parish in the barony of Upper Moyfenrath, two and half miles south-west of Clonard, Co. Meath, Leinster. Area: 6,222 acres. Population in 1831, 1477; and in 1841, 1430. Houses 221. About three-fourths of the land are good, and one fourth inferior. The surface is washed on the east, and separated from co. Kildare by the river Boyne; and is traversed southward by the road from Clonard to Philipstown. In the 12th century, a priory for Augustinian canons was founded in the parish by Jordan Comin; in the 19th year of Henry VIII, it was surrendered by Thomas Bermingham, the last prior; and in the following year, a  crucifix which belonged to it, and had been held in great veneration, was publically burned. Some remains of the priory buildings still exist on the banks of the Boyne. A fair is held on September 25th. This parish and that of Castlejordan constitute a perpetual curacy and the benefice of Castlejordan in the diocese of Meath. The tithes of Ballyboggan have been compounded for £220; and they are wholly impropriate, and belong to five co-heiresses, daughters of the late Sir Duke Gifford. In 1834 the Protestants amounted to 95, and the Roman Catholics to 1431; and two hedge schools at Knockbrew and Killiskillen, had on their books 79 boys and 11 girls.  

Church of Ireland

On the Church of Ireland side Ballyboggan parish was held by Castlejordan from 1622.  The church at Ballyboggan was in ruins in 1641. In 1693 John Carr was the curate of Ballyboggan but there was no church service in Ballyboggan. The church and chancel were in bad repair and there were no church furnishings. The impropriator of the parish was Lady Gifford.

John Ridgewell was curate at Castlejordan in 1622 and George Mallory is recorded as curate in 1641.  George Munday is recorded as the Commonwealth Minister for Castlejordan during Cromwellian times. In 1679 John Higginsbotham was curate and he was replaced in 1688 by James Maudsley. William Brereton was curate at Castlejordan from 1689 to 1720 and he preached every Sunday. In 1693 the church and chancel were recorded as being in good repair. Lady Gifford was the patron of the church.

In 1733 John Gibbon was the curate of Castlejordan and Ballyboggan. Thomas Gifford was the patron of the parish. The church at Castlejordan was in good repair, with seats and the floor was flagged. There were twenty seven Protestant families, three dissenter families and 301 Popish (Catholic) families with a priest and a Mass House. William Ussher became curate in 1747 to be succeeded by Mark Rainsford in 1774.

Rev. John Digby was the perpetual curate at Castlejordan from 1792 to 1840. John Digby married Elizabeth Bor, daughter of Edward Bor of Park House, Kinnegad. She died in 1806 and he married secondly to Elizabeth Bor, the same name, a first cousin of his first wife and daughter of Christopher Bor of Ballindoolin. He died at his residence,  Newpark, Kinnegad in 1840. John Digby was buried in Castlejordan and his memorial recorded “He was the poor man’s friend and by precept and example maintained harmony amongst his neighbours.” Park House was erected about 1760 and came into the Handy family about 1860.  Alexander Kingston Handy J.P. of Park House died in 1883. Orme William Handy JP of Park House died in 1890.

Castlejordan Plaque

A new church was erected at Castlejordan in 1826. The date “1826” was recorded in a stone tablet over the front door. The east window was said to have been designed by An Tur Gloinne.

In 1840 Thomas Marshall became curate and served until 1862.  In 1862 William John Burke was appointed curate.  In 1868 Rev. Burke, incumbent of Castlejordan, was attacked at his home in Edenderry. A party of ruffians ran down the hill to Windsor Place where Rev. Burke and his family resided and threw a volley of stones at his drawing room window. Rev. Burke had previously been attacked by a group of men throwing stones. Henry Edward Ashe was incumbent for a short time, 1877-8. Peter Mooney became curate in charge in 1878 and served till 1886.

William Swayne Little was instituted to Castlejordan in 1886 but died after a few months. Samuel H. Lewis was incumbent of the parish for fifteen years until his death in 1901 at the age of 91.

In 1901 Thomas Anderson became incumbent to be replaced by Henry J. Smith in 1903. George Thomas Berry was incumbent from 1913 to 1915.

From about 1853 there seems to have been a senior clergyman and a curate in the parish. John Bonafous Jelly was recorded as curate of Castlejordan in 1851. Thomas Scott was curate from 1870 to 1872. Peter Mooney was curate in 1872. Edward Morgan Griffin was curate from 1878 to 1881.

Rev. E.M. Gumley was curate of Castlejordan from 1900. Gumley was the son of a Fermanagh clergyman and spent his childhood by the shores of Lough Erne. Graduating from Trinity College in 1898 he became clergyman at Castlejordan in 1900 but soon moved onto Carickfergus and other parishes.  He became a noted naturalist.

In 1915 Castlejordan was united with Clonard when Rev. G.T. Berry was appointed to Clonard. Killucan joined the union of parishes in 1933. Castlejordan church was de-consecrated in 1978.

The Church of Ireland registers date from the early 1700s. Baptisms date from 1702, Marriages from 1707 and burials from 1704. There are also vestry minutes from the early 1700s to 1925.

Catholic Church History from 1690

A parish consisting of Ballyboggan, Clonard, Castlejordan and part of Westmeath was in existence in the 1700s and early 1800s.

In 1733 there is the record of a “Mass House” in the parish. During Penal days Mass was said in the townland of Towlaght in a place called “The Duck’s Nest” in a deep valley surrounded by high ground and also in Ballinakill townland near Ballyboggan Priory.

Rev. John Hoey was appointed parish priest of Clonard in 1690. He had been trained and ordained in Flanders. In 1704 he was registered as the Popish (Catholic) Priest of Clonard, Ballyboggan and Castlejordan and lived at Moydrum. There is a tradition that Fr. Hoey was accidentally killed suppressing a faction fight at Ticroghan on St. Patrick’s Day 1732. Fr. Hoey attempted to stop the faction fight but a stone hit him accidentally and he fell dead. The event actually happened to Fr. Hoey’s successor, Fr. Thomas White. The Dublin Evening Post of 1732 recorded the death of Fr. Thomas White. Fr. White was killed at a hurling match on St. James Day 1732 near Clonard Bridge. Many quarrels and riots followed the hurling match and Fr. White was killed accidentally with a stone.  Rev. Thomas White was succeeded by Fr. Daniel Ennis who died in 1765 aged eighty. The parish administrator, Fr. Thady Grehan, became parish priest in 1765. Mass was said at Ballinakill, not far from Ballyboggan before the church at Ballinabrackey was erected in 1764. The church was dedicated to the Assumption. Fr. Gerald O’Reilly was appointed parish priest in 1789 and served until 1826. Following his death this parish was divided into Kinnegad and Castlejordan. In the graveyard at Ballyboggan there is a tomb to the memory of Rev. John Hoey, Rev. Thomas White, Rev. Daniel Ennis, Rev. Thady Grehan and Rev. Gerald O’Reilly. Rev. Michael Brawdor is also buried in Ballyboggan. 

Fr. Edward Duffy was appointed parish priest of Castlejordan. Fr. Duffy died in 1846 and was buried in Ballinabrackey church.  Fr. Patrick Kealy was appointed parish priest in 1846. He introduced the national schools to the parish and erected Castlejordan Church and the parochial house.

Fr. Kealy was followed as parish priest by Fr. Nicholas Moore and Fr. Nicholas McLoughlin. Fr. Patrick Casey served as an army chaplain during World War I before being appointed parish priest in 1926 but suffered from ill health and died in 1932.   

Baptisms and Marriages are recorded from 1826. The register for burials commences in 1920 which is the date that many Meath parishes begin to record burials.

Thomas Hussey – First President of Maynooth College

Thomas Hussey – First President of Maynooth College

Thomas Hussey was born about 1746 at Harristown, Ballyboggan. The townland of Toor is sometimes mentioned as his birthplace and in the last century the walls of an outhouse were identified as part of his birthplace. Hussey went on to be the first President of Maynooth College and Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. Hussey studied at Irish College at Salamanca. He entered the Trappist Order but the Pope ordered him ordained and attached him to the court of the king of Spain. About 1767 Hussey became chaplain to the Spanish Embassy in London. While in London Hussey became friendly with the Irish politician, Edmund Burke, and the writer Dr. Johnson and other notable people. He was a powerful preacher and highly regarded by his contemporaries. Butler, the historian of English Catholics, said Hussey was ‘of great genius, of enlightened piety, with manners at once imposing and elegant, and of enchanting conversation; he did not come in contact with many whom he did not subdue; the highest rank often sunk before him.’

Hussey remained in London when Spain became allied to France and the American colonies. The Spanish ambassador returned to Spain. George III sent Hussey on a mission to Madrid to attempt to detach Spain from the alliance. A committee of English Catholics wanted to send Hussey to Rome to support their cause but the Spanish ambassador refused to give Hussey leave of absence.  Hussey opposed the republicanism of France. 

The Irish bishops wanted to develop a seminary in Ireland to train priests and approached Burke for his assistance.  Burke described Hussey as ‘the ablest man of business and the best clergyman he knew’ and it was Hussey who became involved in the establishment of Maynooth College. Hussey was appointed first President of St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in 1795. King George also sent Hussey to examine unrest among Catholic troops serving in the British army in Ireland.

In 1797 he was consecrated Bishop of Waterford and Lismore and he settled in Waterford while his predecessors governed the diocese from Carrick-on-Suir or Clonmel. In that year he issued a pastoral letter strongly condemning government interference in ecclesiastical discipline and the danger of religious schools to the Catholic faith. This caused controversy as the government ministers took offence. As a result of the controversy and lack of support from his fellow bishops Hussey left Ireland and did not return until 1802. Hussey drew up a concordat between Napoleon and the Pope in 1802. 

In 1803 Hussey officially opened the first monastery and school of Edmund Ignatius Rice, the founder of the Irish Christian Brothers, at Mount Sion, Waterford. In his will Hussey left funding for the education of the poor children of Waterford by Edmund Rice. 

Hussey died in Tramore in 1803 while bathing in the sea. His funeral on July 12th was disrupted by a group of drunken soldiers returning from an Orange march. Lecky describes Hussey as ‘the ablest English-speaking bishop of his time’.


In 1788 there were four schools recorded in the parish. Tradition states that there were hedge schools at Harristown and Garr.

In 1837 there were five private schools in which 190 children were educated. The Education Report of 1826 lists four schools in the area. At Knockdrin Richard Delahoyde held a school in a thatched house at Keena’s crossroads. At Clonmore John Flynn had a school with three Protestants and twenty four Catholic children. At Castlejordan Margaret Dowling had a school in her own house. At Baltinoran Thomas Gaffney had a school with thirty pupils.

National Schools were established at Castlejordan in 1855 and at Garr in 1857. A new school was erected at Castlejordan in 1909 with the old school being converted to a teacher’s residence. A new school, St. Ciaran’s was opened in September 1974 and it replaced the old schools at Castlejordan and Garr.


In the early 1840s the Marquess of Lansdowne assisted seventy people from Ballyboggan to emigrate to North America. This allowed him to consolidate his farms into larger units which were more viable.

Between 1841 and 1881 the population of Ballyboggan civil parish halved from 1,430 to 707. The number of houses fell from 226 to 151 in the same period. By 1911 there were 467 people in the parish with 131 houses.

Ballyboggan Fair

Sir Edward Fitzgerald was granted a patent to hold a fair at Ballyboggan in 1607 by James I. The site of the fair was called Fair Green and was divided into the Horse Green and the Cow Green by the public road. Traditionally the fair was held for three days around September 25th. Schools in the area closed for the event. Many of the dealers were accommodated in Clonard. The fair was held on the property of the Langans and they charged a toll per animal sold at the fair.

In 1892 the ‘Irish Farming World’ recorded there was large attendance of buyers at the fair and prices were ruled favourably all round. Fat beasts changed hands from £16.10/- to £17.5/.  The horse fair was very large, over 1,500 horses passed through the gates, a few horses changed hands at £90 to £100. The sheep fair was above the average. The fair attracted foreign buyer for horses. One horse sold at the fair was named ‘Ballyboggan’ and went on to achieve fame in England. Ballyboggan won the Irish Grand National in 1918 and in 1919 finished second in the Grand National at Aintree. The owner was Evelyn Hope-Johnstone.

The fair had declined by the 1920s and ceased operating by the 1930s. The fair was revived in the 1970s as a local festival.

James Laurence Carew M.P.

J.L. Carew

James Laurence Carew was born at Kildangan, Ballinabrackey in 1853 and became Nationalist M.P. for North Kildare in 1885. He was defeated in 1892 and represented Dublin, College Green, from 1896 to 1900 and Meath South from 1900 until his death. James was the son of Laurence and Ann Carew and attended Clongowes Wood College, Trinity College and Middle Bar in London. Called to the English Bar Carew purchased the Leinster Leader in 1885 and was one of the founders of the Irish Daily Independent. He was a director of the Irish Press Agency.

Carew was elected to parliament in the 1885 landslide for the Irish Nationalist Party. In his first parliamentary term Carew was whip of the Irish Party at Westminster. Carew became a closed confidant of the leader of the Irish Party, Charles Stewart Parnell and of the Prime Minister, W.E. Gladstone.  During the Land War Carew was arrested for calling on a boycott of the Earl of Drogheda and imprisoned in Kilkenny Gaol. In 1889 Carew was arrested after appearing at a public rally in Scotland. The Coercion Act had been enacted to prevent Irish M.P.s from speaking publically. 

When the party split as a result of the O’Shea divorce case Carew supported Parnell and provided considerable funding for the party. Carew was defeated by an anti-Parnell candidate in 1892 in North Kildare and again in 1895.  When Parnell died Carew along with other loyal supporters went to Holyhead to accompany the remains home. Charles Stewart Parnell’s brother, John Howard Parnell, was the sitting M.P. for South Meath in 1900. He intended to stand again for South Meath in 1900 and attended the nomination venue, expecting to be the only candidate. However J.L. Carew, who was under pressure in his College Green constituency for having attended a royal event, was nominated. John Howard did not have the required fee to pay for his nomination in a contested election and so Carew was elected uncontested. Carew later said he had been nominated without his knowledge or consent and offered to withdraw but never actually did.

In 1896 James Laurence Carew married Helen Kennard, it was her second marriage. The couple lived at 54 Hans Place, London. Carew was appointed High Sheriff of County Kildare in 1903 but died later that year while on holiday in Switzerland. His remains were buried in Castlejordan cemetery. After his death Helen sold the Leinster Leader to his two brothers and retired to live at Claridge’s Hotel, London. Helen Carew was a stalwart friend of Oscar Wilde and provided the funds for the monument marking his grave in Paris. Her son, Sir Coleridge Kennard, was a friend of Wilde’s son, Vyvyan Holland, and both were present at the re-internment of Wilde’s remains at Père Lachaise in 1909.

Fr. Robert Callary

Rev. Fr, Robert Callary P.P.

Fr. Robert Callary became parish priest of Ballinabrackey in 1935. Fr. Callery was a prime instigator in the foundation of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society.

Born in Oldcastle in 1887 he was educated at the Gilson Endowed Schools, Oldcastle and at St. Finian’s College, Navan. Ordained at Maynooth in 1912 Fr. Callary became professor of Latin at St. Finian’s College, Mullingar. A good athlete himself he initiated a tradition of athletics at St. Finian’s where he remained until 1921. Fr. Callery then worked as a Catechist until 1925 when he became a curate in Enfield. Following this he was curate at Rochfortbridge. In 1933 Fr. Callery was appointed parish priest of Castletown-Kilpatrick. Becoming parish priest of Ballinabrackey in 1935 Fr. Callary was made Vicar-Forane in 1957. Fr. Callary revived athletics in Ballinabrackey and sponsored the local G.A.A. in its efforts to secure and develop Boyne Park, Castlejordan. He was an authority on English literature and was acquainted with all the fictional characters of the Wild West.

With an interest in local history Fr. Callery published a booklet on the Loughcrew Cairns in 1926. His main area of research was the Bronze Age. A booklet on the Hill of Tara was published in 1955. He also published a book on the Boyne Valley in the Bronze Age. Fr. Callery was involved in the foundation of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society in 1919 but the society had only a small membership until the 1950s and had even lapsed for a few years.  Fr. Callery was instrumental in the drive in the mid 1950s to increase membership of the group. In 1959 the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society made Fr. Callery life president of the society. Fr. Callary died in 1961. Bishop John Kyne wrote of Fr. Callery ‘It should not be forgotten that but for his enthusiasm the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society would be lost and forgotten today. For many years it was a one man society until that one man revived and expanded it. That one man was Father Callary.’

Recent Church History

Located in the townland of Toor the Church of the Assumption, Ballinabrackey is a gable fronted building erected in 1972. The new church cost £42,000. The architects were William Byrne and Son of Dublin and the contractors were Banagher Tiles. The church was dedicated on 15th April 1973 with Bishop John McCormack presiding.

Church Fragment now in Ballinabrackey

Preserved within the church are two fragments of a chest tomb depicting the Throne of Grace, Holy Trinity. These pieces of carved stone probably date to the early 16th century and almost certainly came from Ballyboggan Abbey. Uncovered in the 1955 when an old cupboard was removed in the Sacristy one piece represents the Blessed Virgin holding the Infant Jesus in her arms. Both the Blessed Virgin and Infant wear crowns.  The second piece portrays God the Father seated wearing a low crown with the Son depicted on the Cross. St. Michael is also represented on the second fragment.  St. Michael is identified by his shield which he uses to defeat the devil. 

The parish priest lived at Park and Corbetstown before the parochial house was erected about 1850. Alterations were made to the Parochial House in 1928 to the design of Joseph John Bruntz, an architect from Edenderry. Bruntz also designed the teacher’s residence about the same time. 

The church at Castlejordan was in existence from at least the early 1800s. The earlier building probably served as a chapel and as a school. The present church was erected about 1850 by Fr. Kealy. The sanctuary was erected by Fr. Bracken who also removed the gallery and extended the nave. The railings, entrance gate and cut stone work were completed in 1925 to the design of Joseph John Bruntz.

A new Castlejordan school opened in 1909. It was converted into a community centre in 1974 when the new St. Ciaran’s Primary School opened.

In 1958 a new cemetery was consecrated in Castlejordan by Bishop John Kyne. The land had been given by local farmer, Mr. N. Wyer. The site was cleared by voluntary labour. The donor of the site was the first internment in the cemetery.  Cemeteries at Garr, Kilkieran, Castlejordan and Ballyboggan continue to serve the parish.

Rev. John Kennedy became parish priest in 1961 and served until 1981 when he was succeeded by Rev. Edward Flynn. Fr. Flynn celebrated the 70th anniversary of his ordination in 2011. Fr. Flynn retired as P.P. in 1995 and was replaced by Fr. Patrick Dillon who died in 2007. In 2007 Fr. Martin Halpin was appointed parish priest of Ballinabrackey. Fr. Halpin is a native of Delvin and was ordained in June 1991. He served in Clara until 1993 and then as curate in Trim for fourteen years.  

Gravestone Inscriptions

The gravestone inscriptions for Ballyboggan and Castlejordan churchyard are in a book “Carved in stone – a survey of graveyards and burial grounds: Edenderry & Environs”  produced by Edenderry Historical Society in 2010. 

Kilkeeran Gravestone Inscriptions

Kilkeeran is a very well kept graveyard andhas many interesting headstones.

The gravestones inscriptions are arranged in alphabetical order and were recorded in the summer of 2012.

The earliest gravestone that I could uncover was to the Cvghan (possibly Cavanagh) family, dating from 1720, but there were a good number of families with memorials for the 1700s: Aspel, Brangan, Connor, Cvghan, Dempsey, Fitzgerald, Gaffney, Glennan, Grehan, Killen, Murphy, Whelan.

Aspel – Have mercy O Lord on the soul of Marcela Aspel alies Doyle who dept. this life August the 1 1794 aged 30 yrs. Also her husband, James Aspel, who dept. this life August the 16th 1821 aged 65 years. To her 2 sons Michael and Thomas Aspel. Michael departed this life November the 6th 1821 aged 42 yrs. Thomas dept. this life December 16 1824 aged 36 years. Erected by Anne Foxe alies Aspel in memory of them.  

Bracken – Pray for the soul of James Bracken, Ballinabrackey who died 21st Dec 1939. His wife, Margaret, died 4 March 1948? Andrew Bracken died 1 March 1958. And Joseph Bracken died 1st Dec 1959. His wife, Mary, died 22 June 1962.

Brangan – I.H.S. Erected by Edw. Brangan in memory of his wife Margaret Brangan, alias Calleghan dept. Feby. ye 17 1798 aged 59 years. And his mother, Ann Brangan, alias Owens, dept. March  20th 1754 aged 70. And his brother Jno. Brangan dept. Feb. ye 20th 1759 aged 28 years. And his … Thomas Brangan dept. October 24th 1763 aged 84. And brother, Richard Brangan, dept. Oct. ye 10 1797 aged 74.

Brennan – Pray for Elizabeth (Lizzie) Brennan, Ballinabrackey. Died 7th Feb 1956 aged 69 years. Her husband, John, died 5th Feb 1966 aged 80 years. Their daughter, Mollie, died 11 Nov 1986 aged 82. Rest in Peace.

Brennan – In loving memory of Joseph Brennan, Ballinabrackey, died 26th November 2000. And his parents interred here. Also his family members interred in Castlejordan.

Brennan – My Jesus Mercy.  IHS. In loving memory of Mary (Babs) Brennan, Toor, Ballinabrackey, died 6th January 1992. Her parents, James and Mary Ann Brennan. Brother, Patrick Brennan. Sisters, Nellie and Rose Brennan. Uncle and Aunt, John and Margaret Brennan. R.I.P.

Brennan – In loving memory of Mary Brennan, Toor, died 28th Oct 1918 aged 53 years. Christopher Brennan died 21st Dec 1940 aged 86 years. Rita Mitchell died 5th Dec 1944 aged 2 weeks. Mary Mitchell died 30th April 1966 aged 68 years. Bernard Mitchell died 16th May 1980 aged 80 years. R.I.P.

Carey/Carry – I.H.S. O’Lord have mercy on the soul of Mary Carry alis Sally who dep.t Feb.y the 6th 1806 aged 40. Erected by her husband Pat Carey in memory of her.Requiescat in pace.

Carew – In loving memory of Edward Maria Carew. The above died 15July 1905. His wife, Maria, died 10th Oct 1913. Their son, James, died 11th Feb 1951. And Thomas died 19th May 1948. Elizabeth Carew died Feb 29th 1960. Patrick Carew died Jan 5th 1965. R.I.P. Erected by their son, Patrick.

Carew – In loving memory of Joseph (Joe) Carew, Ballinabrackey, died 1960. His wife, Kathleen, died 1980. Their two children, Theresa and Philomena, who died in infancy. Rest in Peace.

Carew – In loving memory of Michael Carew, Ballinabrackey died 17th June 1982 aged 82 years. R.I.P.

Cash – In loving memory of Michael Cash, Tullamore, died July 1961 aged 70 years.

Connor – O Lord have mercy on the soul of Hugh Connor who dept this life July 21st 1774 aged 55 years. Also his wife Jane Connor alias Delany who dept March the 2nd 1802 aged 89 yrs. Erected by … (Rest buried)

Cooney – In loving memory of Peter Cooney, Toor, Ballinabrackey, died 28th October 1974 aged 64 years. His wife, Catherine (Kitty), nee Meehan, died 14th December 2002 aged 88 years. His father, Nicholas, died 24th February 1941 aged 75 years. His mother, Sarah, nee Brennan, died 6th February 1950 aged 89 years. And all other family members interred here. Rest in Peace.

Coyne – Erected in loving memory of Mrs Margaret Coyne, Ballinabrackey, died 17th Nov. 1955 aged 63 years. Her husband, James Coyne, died 26th Mar 1966 aged 75 years. R.I.P.

Coyne – In memory of our dear parents, Peter and Ann Coyne, who died in 1914. Also their son, Thomas Coyne, who died Jan. 12 1958. R.I.P. Erected by Thomas and James Coyne in 1954.

Coyne – Erected by Paul Coyne in memory of his grandparents, parents and brother. In loving memory of Anne Coyne, Gernonstown, Slane, died 8th November 1995 aged 80 years. Rest in peace. In memory of Bridie Coyne died Sept 1932. Her sisters. Angela died Sept 1937. Maimie died July 1950. Until we meet again. Love Peggie Family and Annie.

Coyne – In loving memory of Brigid Coyne who died 25th April 1929 aged 56 years. Her brother, William, who died 15th January 1931 aged 51 years. Their brother, Thomas, who died 9th March 1934 aged 62 years. Carrick, Castlejordan. Rest in Peace. Coyne.

Cvghan – I.H.S. Here lise the body of Thadey Cvghan who departed this life December the 15 1720.

Dalton – This stone is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Dalton, Castlejordan, who died Oct. 1892 aged 36 years. Also Michael Dalton who died 23 April 1925. And Mary Dalton died 24 April 1925. Their son, Michael, died 23 Mar 1948. His daughter, Bridget, died 23 Oct. 1932. Grandchild, Margaret Mary, died Jan 18 1949. Michael Dalton died 1 Oct 1990 aged 69 years.

Dempsey – O good God I humbly beg of thee to have mercy on the soul of Rose Dempsey who dept. this life 16th Dec. 1794 age 29. Erected by her husband John Hiinan?  Here lieth his posterity

Duignan – In loving memory of Mary Duignan who died 16 December 1928. Her husband, John, died 17 September 1936. Also her son-in-law, John Connolly, died 11 December 1946. And her son, Joseph, died 4 June 1963. Her daughter, Elizabeth, died 7 October 1965.

Dunne – In loving memory of Tom Dunne, Colehill, died 31st March 1920 aged 77 years. His wife, Kate, died 14th Nov 1929 aged 76 years. Mary Dunne died 17 Nov 1942 aged 66 years. Her husband, Tom, died 30th June 1956 aged 75 years. Their son, Jack, died 1st Oct 1978 aged 66 years. His sister, Mary Dalton, died 12th Jan 1990 aged 70 years. R.I.P. In loving memory of Shauna and Mary died 29th June 1992

Dunne – In memory of a loving husband and father, Tom Dunne, Colehill, born 15th October 1914. Died 28th August 2001. Rest in Peace.

Ennis – In loving memory of Lillie Ennis, Ballinabrackey, died 4 Dec 1967 aged 24. Her niece, Therese Quinn, died 9 Aug 1968 aged 2 years 9 months. Her mother, Mary Catherine Ennis, died 23 June 1995 aged 87 years. Her father, James Ennis, died 6 April 2000 aged 93 years. R.I.P.

Ferrarelli – Treasured memories of a loving husband Vincenzo Ferrarelli, late of Colehill, died 8th August 2005 aged 58 years. Rest in Peace.

Fitzgerald – (Ere)cted by Thos Fitzg(erald) in memory of his wife…and his son William, who died January 22 1786.

Fitzgerald – Here lyeth the body of William Fitzgerald, uncle of Richard Fitzgerald of Baltinoran Esq, who departed ye 10 day Feby 1745 aged 89 years.

Flinn – In memory of John Flinn who died 27th October 1870 aged 49 years. Also his mother, Anne Flinn, died 4th March 1866? aged 61 years. Also Anne Flinn, wife of the above John Flinn, who died 21st April 1902 aged 64 years. And their four sons; William, John, Joseph and Andrew who are interred here. This stone was erected by the above John Flinn’s widow and brother; Anne and Alexander Flinn.

Gaffney – Erected by Catherine Gaffney, Baltigeer. In loving memory of her husband, Patrick Gaffney, who died Feb 27th 1892 aged 82 years. Also her grand-niece, Margaret Collins, died Dec 15th 1884 aged 3 years. Thomas Collins died July 13th 1900 aged 68 years. Also the above Catherine Gaffney who died Jan 8th 1904 aged 88 years. Anne Collins died 25th May 1937 aged 83 years. Joseph Collins died 24th August 1948 aged 59. Mary Kate Collins died 8 June 1957 aged 59.

Gaffney – I.H.S. Here lies John Gafney of Carrick who died the 27th of June 1741 aged 40 years. His wife, Catherine Fitzgerald, Baltinoran, died Jan 9 1748 aged 51. Edith Carew of Garr wife of Patrick Fitzgerald Gaffney died April 7 1775 age 59. John Carew Gaffney, their eldest son, died Jan 9 1776 age 28.  Patrick Fitzgerald Gaffney of Carrick died Oct 2 1796 age 70. Judith Flanagan of Rahue, wife of John Carew Gaffney, died Sept 4 1803 age 61. Patrick Flanagan Gaffney of Baltinoran died Jan 3 1854 age 68. His wife Margaret Hevy of Baltinoran died New York U.S.A. Jan 9 1877 age 79. Primogenital Record.

John Hevy Gaffney of Baltinoran. Born December 3 1827. Died August 20 1907. His son, Patrick Gaffney, born June 27 1956 died May 5 1907. Lizzie, wife of E.C. Gaffney, died April 18 1908 aged 34. Anna Scully Clery of Carrick, wife of John Hevy Gaffney, born Aug 28 1822, died Sept 11 1887. Their third son, Michael Clery Gaffney, born Oct 2 1854, died Feb 6 1905.

Geoghegan – In loving memory of Andrew Geoghegan, Carrick, Castlejordan who died 16th December 1949 aged 78 years. His wife, Elizabeth, died 18th April 1958 aged 84 years. His daughter, Kathleen, died 10th January 1931 aged 17 years. His sons, Andrew died 16th July 1978 aged 71 years and John died 30th April 1979 aged 69 years. R.I.P. In loving memory of Sr. Lelia Geoghan who died in South Africa.

Geoghegan – In loving memory of Ann Geoghegan, Toor, died 20th Oct 1917. Also her husband, Thomas, died 11th Nov 1925. Their son, Thomas, died 13th April 1962. R.I.P. Erected by their daughter, Mary.

Geoghegan – In loving memory of Ellen Geoghegan, Carrick, who died 20 Dec. 1930 aged 72 years. Mrs. Margaret Swords who died 21st Feb. 1932 aged 75 years. Mrs. Evelyn Swords died 2nd May 1970 aged 68 years. Richard Swords died 28th February 1982 aged 82. R.I.P. 

Gilloway – Gilloway, James Aidan passed away 16th May 2004. His wife, Mary, passed away 9th July 2005. Rest in Peace.

Glennan – Have mercy O Lord on the soul of Edwd Glennan who dept. this life Decmbr 4th 1817 aged 77 yrs. Also his wife Elizbth Glennan who dept Nov 15th 1796 aged 44 yrs. Erected by their son Christopr Glennan. May they rest in peace.

Glennan – Erected by Thomas Glennan in memory of his father, Michael, who died 5th Decr 1866 aged 82 years. And of his mother, Margaret, who died 6 June 1846 aged 54 years. And of his brother, Michael, who died 18th May 1845 aged 19 years. And of his sister, Ellen, who died 5th June 1846 aged 34 years. Also the above, Thomas Glennan, died 15th July 1893 aged 71 years. And his wife, Mary Glennan, died 31 Jan. 1871 aged 35 years. Also Mrs Eliza Glennan died 28th Sep 1935 aged 64 years. And Michael Glennan died 30th Jan. 1946 aged 77 years.

Grehan – I.H.S. This erected by Dolly Grehan alias Flinn in memory of her husband, James, who died April 19 1751 aged 30 yrs. Also Catherin, daughter of the above. Also 2 more of her children died June 1751.

Grehan – I.H.S. Erected by Thos F. Grehan of Ballinabrackey in loving memory of his grandparents; Richard Grehan who departed this life 29th April 1867 and Anne 18th Feb 1879. Also his uncle and aunts. Ellen Grehan died 6th May 1952. Her husband, Thomas, died 14th February 1961. Their son, Richard, died 9th October 1979.

Grehan – In loving memory of Maureen Grehan, Ballinabrackey, Kinnegad, died 31st August 2008. Rest in Peace. In loving memory of Rita Grehan, Ballinabrackey, died 28th January 2010. Rest in Peace.

Groome – In loving memory of Mrs. Ellen Groome, Ballinabrackey, died Nov. 1960. Her husband, James Groome, died March 1947. R.I.P.

Heavey – In loving memory of John Heavey, Ballinabrackey, died 16th Nov 1945 aged 49 years. His wife, Elizabeth, (Lil), died 11th July 1999 aged 86 years. Their sons; Patrick died 4th Oct 1964 aged 28 years. Thomas died 19th June 1981 aged 43 years. R.I.P.  Heavey.

In loving memory of John Heavey,  his wife, Mary and their son, Peter. Rest in Peace.

Hughes – Erected by Michael Hughes of Cappaboggan in loving memory of his wife, Elizabeth, who died Nov 20th 1887 aged 68 years. Their son, Christopher, died May 12th 1892 aged 34 years. The above, Michael Hughes, died Feb 12th 1893 aged 82 years. Thomas died 20th March 1925. William died 31 Dec 1931. Mary Hughes died 21 April 1950. Michael died 21 July 1969.

Hughes – In loving memory of William Hughes, Baltigeer, who died 20th May 1959. Also his parents, Peter and Maria. Uncles and aunts. Bridget Hughes, wife of William, died 15th Jan 1990 aged 75 years. R.I.P.

Kelly – In loving memory of the Kelly family, Ballinagelshia, Ballinabrackey. Thomas Kelly died 30th December 1919 aged 35 years. His wife, Margaret (nee Carew), died 28th September 1939 aged 62 years. Their children; Mary Teresa died 11th January 1918 aged 9½ years, Thomas died 20th December 1921 aged 9½ years. Edward died at birth. Rest in Peace.

Kelly – In loving memory of Tom Kelly who died 8th Dec 1986. Walter (Watt) Kiernan who died 7th April 1997. Rest in Peace.

Kerogan – I.H.S. This stone is erected by Mary Kerogan in memory of her husband …. ( rest buried, from 1700s)

Kiernan – In loving memory of Richard Kiernan, Baltinoran, died 29 Nov 1906 aged 67. His wife, Catherine, died 3 Nov 1919 aged 76. Their son, John, died 15 March 1937 aged 53. His wife, Mary, died 13 June 1935 aged 40. Their son, John, died 8 April 1939 aged 13. Rest in Peace.

Killen – This is erected by William Killen in memory of his father, James Killen, who died Oct 28 1775 aged 63 yrs. Also his mother, Judith Killeen, alias Wheelaughan, died Novb. 12 1781 aged 68 yrs. 

Larkin – Nicholas Dermot Larkin died 7 April 2010. R.I.P.

Laughrey – This stone is erected by Margaret Laughrey in memory of her father, John Dempsy, and all their posterity. Dated March 16th 1800.

Lynam – Pray for the parents, brothers and sisters of Thomas Lynam, Castlejordan, died 19th March 1969 aged 94 years. Also his wife, Alice Lynam, died 6th March 1957 aged 75 years. R.I.P.

Lynam – In loving memory of William Lynam, Kildangan, died 20 Apr. 1969 aged 64 yrs. His parents, Mary Anne Lynam and James Lynam. His wife, Veronica, died 29th Sept 1995 aged 77 years

Lynch – In loving memory of the Lynch family. Killiskillen.

Lynch – In loving memory of Margaret Lynch, Carrick, died 15th June 2005 aged 83 years. Also her brother, James Ennis, died 27th April 2006 aged 77 years. Also their dad, Joseph Ennis, died 31st January 1934 aged 54 years. Rest in Peace.

McCann – In loving memory of Patrick McCann, Corbetstown, died 19 Oct 1936 aged 80 years. His wife, Catherine, died 11 Feb 1948 aged 78 years.

McCloskey – Sacred to the memory of Patrick J. McCloskey, Killiskillen died 5 Jan 1953 aged 69 years. His daughter, Maureen, died 5 Feby 1928 aged 17 years. And son, Thomas, died 28 July 1942 aged 23 years. Also Mrs Bridget McCloskey, wife of the above, died 14  June 1957 aged 73 years. Denis McCloskey died 9 June 1974. R.I.P.

Mc Cormack – In loving memory of Thomas Mc Cormack died Feb 9 1946 aged 68 years. Mary Anne Mc Cormack died Dec 16 1978 aged 92 years. Eileen D. McCormack died Feb 8 1990 aged 67 years. R.I.P.

Meehan – In loving memory of Anne (Nannie) Meehan, Cinnamon Lane, Poole, Dorset, England, who died 4th March 2006 aged 93 years. Rest in Peace.

Mitchell – In loving memory of Patrick Mitchell, Kildangan, died 21 March 1942. His wife, Delia Mitchell, died 20 Feb. 1924. Their daughter, Mary Ann Mitchell, died 25 Jan 1944. Erected by Patrick Mitchell. R.I.P.

Monahan – Sacred to the memory of Charles Monahan, Ballinoran, who departed this life 4th Jan.y 1840 aged 62 years. His wife, Mary Monahan, died 1865 aged 85 years. Also John Monahan died 1908 aged 85 years. His wife, Julia, died 1895 aged 49 years. And Charles Monahan died 1939 aged 76. His wife, Rose, died 1951 aged 78. Their daughter, Bridget, died 1935 aged 22. Also John Joe died 1941 aged 17. His mother, Katie, died 1955 aged 70.

Moore – I.H.S. In loving memory of Peter Moore, Kildangan, Kinnegad. 30-6-1928 10-9-2008. R.I.P.

Morrin – I.H.S. Erected by John Morrin in memory of his father, George Morrin, who departed this life Feb.y the 4th 1814 aged 66. Also his brother, George Morrin, died Jan.y the 26th 1815 age 22 years. John Morrin died 15 March 1944 aged 77 years. Requieseat in pace. Also his wife, Mrs Mary Morrin, 2 June 1958? Aged 91 years? Also her son, Thomas Morrin, died 21 April 1962. Elizabeth Murrin died 29 Oct 1986 aged 83 years.

Montgomery – Erected by Mrs. Anne Montgomery of Ballinabrackey in memory of her husband, Mr. Bernard Montgomery, who died March 26th 1857 aged 72 years.

Mulligan – Erected by Anne Mulligan of … in memory of her husband James Mulligan who dep.t this life July the 25 1845 aged 63 years. And also in memory of his father and mother William and Anne Mulligan.

Murphy – Here lieth the body of Thomas Murphy who departed Feb 10th 1731 aged 68 years.

Murrihy – In loving memory of Rose Murrihy (nee Heavey) Limerick and Ballinabrackey died 5th February 2007 aged 61 years. Her dear sister, Veronica, died 18th February 2010 aged 67 years. Heavey.

Petit – Erected by Richard Petit in memory of parents, brothers and sisters.

Quinn – In loving memory of Harry Quinn, Toor, Ballinabrackey, who departed this life April 8th 2005 aged 74 years. Rest in Peace.

Quinn – Erected in memory of Michael Quinn died August 24th 1895. Also his wife, Anna,  died Jan 26th 1874. And his son, Michael, died March 9th 1881. R.I.P.

Quinn – In loving memory of Thomas Quinn, Baltinoran, who died 24th July 1966 aged 64 years. His wife, Mary, who died 21st March 1979 aged 80 years. Their son, John, who died 30th July 2002 aged 62 years. Interred in England. Rest in Peace.

Rochford – In loving memory of John Rochford, Killiskillen, Kinnegad, who died 13th March 1959. His wife, Mary, who died 12th January 1977. Their son, Christy, who died 9th November 1996. Their daughter, Mary (Molly), who died 14th May 1997. Rest in Peace. Erected by Tommy Whelehan. Rochford.

St. George – I.H.S. This was erected by Molly St. George in ….. (Rest buried,  from 1700s)

Tyrl – Erected by Mathew Tyrl in memory of his wife, Catherine Tyrl, who departed this life in the year of 1800 age 60 yrs. Requiesce in pace.

Walsh – In loving memory of Thomas Walsh who died December 3 1892 aged 85 years. And his wife, Bridget, died Feb. 23 1901 aged 85. Also their children; Thomas died July 16 1874 aged 15. Nannie died Nov 22 1875 aged 18. Mary, daughter of Andrew and Margaret Walsh, died April 22 1897 aged 14. Erected by Mrs. Fannan, U.S.A. R.I.P.

Walsh – In memory of Margaret Walsh, wife of Andrew Walsh, died January 7 ? aged 54 ?

Also the above, Andrew Walsh, died 16 June 1920 aged 77.

Whelan – I.H.S. Have mercy on James Whelan, 1780.

Sources and Further Reading

‘A Catalogue of the reports and schedules addressed to the Second Court of Claims’, in Irish Record Commission Report viii (Dublin, 1819)

Anon., Admirable, Good, True and Joyfull Newes from Ireland. Being an exact Relation of the last weekes passages in Ireland dated from Dublin May the 8. 1642 (London, 1642)  

Archdall, Mervyn. Monasticon Hibernicum (Dublin, 1786)

Callary, Robert, Very Rev. Fr. ‘Castle Jordan castles’ in Ríocht na Midhe, Vol. I, 2, (1956) pp 21-35.

Callary, Robert, Very Rev. ‘Ancient Sculpture’, Ríocht na Mídhe Vol. I, 4, (1958) pp 71-72.

Casey, Christine and Rowan, Alistair, The Buildings of Ireland – North Leinster (London, 1993)

Cogan, Anthony, Rev.  The Diocese of Meath: ancient and modern (Dublin, 1862)

Curran, Olive, C. History of the Diocese of Meath (Mullingar, 1995)

Edmundson, William.A Journal of the Life, Travels, Sufferings and Labour of love in the work of the ministry of that worthy elder and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, William Edmundson. (London, 1829)

Gwynn, A. and Hancock, R.N., Medieval Religious Houses: Ireland (London, 1970)

Harbison, Peter. Treasures of the Boyne Valley (Dublin, 2003)

Kinnegad Parish Magazine

Lenihan, Padraig.  Confederate Catholics at War 1641-49 (Cork, 2001)

Lennon, Colm. Sixteenth-century Ireland: the incomplete conquest (Dublin, 1994)

Lewis, Samuel. Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (London, 1837)

Moore, Beryl. Typscript notes on Castlejordan and Ballyboggan in Meath County Library.

Moore, Michael J., Archaeological Inventory of County Meath (Dublin, 1987)

O’Connor, Thomas. ‘The Priory ‘De Laude Dei’ Ballyboggan’ in Kinnegad Parish Magazine.

O’Harte,  John. The Irish and Anglo-Irish Landed Gentry when Cromwell came to Ireland (Dublin, 1884)

Robinson, James, ‘Oscar Wilde’s Friend and Benefactor, Helen Carew (c. 1856-1928)’ in Dublin Historical Record, (2005) pp 112-121.

Robinson, James. ‘James Laurence Carew M.P. (1853-1903)’ in Dublin Historical Record (Autumn, 2004), pp 211-222.

Roe, Helen M. ‘Illustrations of the Holy Trinity in Ireland: 13th to 17th Centuries’ in J.R.S.A.I (1979), pp 101-150.

Simington, Robert C. The Civil Survey County of Meath (Dublin, 1940)

Simington, Robert C. and J. MacLellan (eds.), ‘Oireachtas Library, List of Outlaws, 1641-1647’ in Analecta Hibernica No. 23 (Dublin, 1966) 

Simington, Robert C. The Transplantation to Connacht 1654-58 (Dublin, 1970) 

Wallace W.J.R. Clergy of Meath and Kildare: Biographical Succession Lists (compiled by Canon J.B. Leslie and revised and updated by W.J.R. Wallace) (Dublin, 2009)

White, Newport B. Extents of Irish Monastic Possessions, 1540-1541 (Dublin, 1943)