Recorded by Noel E French July 1987

Kilcarn church is dedicated to St. Stephen and is situated about a mile upriver from Navan town on the eastern bank of the Boyne river.

The site of an older Christian establishment, the Black Church is in a nearby townland of Oldtown.

The parish was called Tycarn in medieval times. Kilcarn means the Church of St. Cairneach.  St Stephen’s Church here was built by Geoffery de Phepoe one of the first Norman Barons in the area.  Mass was celebrated in 1192 at St. Stephen Church.  The cemetery was opened and blessed around the year 1220.

Kilcarn Church contained a decorated font dating from the 15th or 16th century.  This font stood at the west end of the ruined church in 1740.  Local men attending funerals in the surrounding cemetery amused themselves by throwing stones into the font.  A blacksmith buried the font to prevent its destruction from these funsters.  It was recovered around 1849 and placed in Johnstown Roman Catholic Church.

The font has twelve sides which is unusual in Ireland or England.  The twelve apostles are shown with their symbols on eleven sides with the twelfth showing Christ crowned as a King and holding in his hand the globe and cross.  He is in the act of blessing the Virgin Mary who is also crowned.

The four walls of the church still stand. .Most of the graves are on the southern and eastern sides of the church with some within the ruin.

See also “Navan by the Boyne” by Noel E French.


BARRY -(Large slab with coat of arms at head, and skull and crossbones at base.  Both sculptures in relief.  The coat of arms- on the dexter, three bars (Barry), on the sinister side a chevron between three pheons.  This large slab is located at the eastern end of the church ruin.  No trace of any inscription could be found.  This tombstone was recorded in 1912 in the Association for the Preservation of the Dead journal of that year- page 611.  The inscription was described as “barely decipherable”.  The tomb is that of Humphry Barry of Kilcarn who married the daughter of Charles Foster an alderman of Dublin.  This tomb is also recorded in the JRSAI 1892 Pg. 126 where its date is given as 1692)

BARRY – (Grave slab inside church at eastern end).  Here lieth the body of the Reverend Philip Barry late of Boyne Hill and Kilcarn in this county who died on the 2nd day of October in the year of 1831 aged 51 years.  He was, during the last 11 years of his life, Rector of the Parish of Navan in this county.  Here lieth also the body of Catherine Barry widow of the said Philip Barry daughter of Sir Robert Staples of Donmor in Queen’s County Baronet.   She died on the 10th day of April in the year 1838 aged 51 years 10 months.  I am the resurrection and the life saith the lord…(Rev. Philip Barry was church warden until 1818 when he succeeded Rev. Daniel Augustus Beaufort as rector.  Daniel A. Beaufort as well as being a clergyman was a mapmaker, topographer, designer and architect.  He was also the father of Sir Francis Beaufort noted hydrographer and mapmaker and the designer of the scale of wind strengths).

BLAKE – IHS  In loving memory of Peter Blake died 14th April 1913.   Jane Blake died 15th  November 1927.   John Blake died 30th August 1940.  R.I.P.  (Stonemason Oliver Rennicks)

BOYLAN – In loving memory of James Boylan died 13th May 1955 aged 60 years. On whose soul Sweet Jesus have mercy.  May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed…(Stonemason Oliver Rennicks Navan).

BRIEN – Erected by James Brien of Halston Street, City of Dublin in memory of his beloved brother John Brien who departed this life 18th October 1817 aged 22 years.  Also of his revered father Michael Brien who died 11th December 1824 aged 58 years.  Frances O’Reilly  relict of Owen O’Reilly, North King Street, Dublin, departed this life 17th July 1842.

Michael and Maria O’Brien, James Hugh and Margaret O’Brien. Edward Michael O’Brien died April 1906.   Mary Anne O’Brien died 9th June 1913.   William O’Brien died 22nd August 1933.   Anne O’Brien died 1938.    Mary Clare Lynch died 22nd October 1971.

BROWNE – See Madden John.

BRYAN – This stone was erected by Catherine Bryan of Castletown Targh, in memory of her beloved husband Christopher Bryan who departed this life 15th May 1776 aged 44 years.  Here also lie the remains of the above Catherine Bryan alias Mullen departed this life 24th April 1799 aged 59 yeas.  And of her daughter Elizabeth Bryan who departed this life 24th January 1794 aged 23 years.  Also her daughter Mary Smyth alias Bryan wife of Nicholas Smyth of Castletown,  Kilberry who departed this life 26th of December 1798 aged 36 years. 

BRYAN – Here lieth the body of Joan Bryan deceased 1709.  Also her son James deceased 1730.  Also her husband Hugh Bryan deceased the 16th day of February 1733/4.  Also their son Nicholas deceased 1734.

BRYAN –  IHS . This stone belongs to Walter Bryan and his posterity.  (This stone is pillar shaped).

CARROLL – IHS.  Here lieth the body of Frances Carroll alias Holmes who departed this life the 5th day of May 1757 aged 35 years.  And also three of her children.  Erected by her husband William Holmes.

(Below this is the inscription sunk into stone) – Agnes Gillick died October 1st 1951.

COLLINS – (Metal cross, North of Church).  In loving memory of Kate Collins died 20 August 1920.  Also her husband Bartle Collins died… July 1942.  R.I.P.

CONNOLLY – Of your charity pray for the souls of Patrick Connolly who died August 8th 1848 aged 60 years.  Of Anne Connolly who died October 3rd 1868 aged 78 years.  Of Rose Connolly who died in the year 1839 aged 22 years.  Of Margaret  Downes  who died in the same year aged 27 years and of Catherine Mc Cormick who died in America in the year 1852 aged 26 years.

COOGAN – Erected by Thomas Coogan,  Hayes in memory of his father Loghlan died May 15th 1886 aged 52 years.  Also his mother Julia died April 19th 1903 aged 70 years.  R.I.P.  (Broken Cross).

DALTON – Here lie ye body of John Dalton who departed ys life ye 10 of February 1757 aged 51 years.  Also his wife Bridget Dalton who departed ys…  ye… Aged …  (skull and crossbones at top).

DIGNEN – See Johnson John.

DONNELLY – See Doran William.

DORAN – Erected by William Doran of Oldtown in memory of his beloved wife Mary who died on the 27th of  May 1866 aged 61 years.  Also of her mother Mrs Mary Farrell who died on the 21st January 1855.   And her three grand-children John and Joseph Donnelly and Mary Doran.

DOUNS – IHS Here lyeth ye body of William Douns who died January ye 12th 1755 aged 99 years.  Also 4 of his children and grandson William who died Dec ye 18th 1763 aged 5 years.

DOWNES – See Connolly Patrick.

DRUMM – In loving memory of Mary who died 24th January.   Her husband Edward Drumm died 30th December 1938.  Also their children Anna died 1st May 1918.  Veronica died 9th February 1949.  Laurence died 2nd May 1962.  Their grand-daughter Philomena died 17th January 1962.  Also their son William died 21st July 1964.  Rose Drumm died 14th April 1984.  R.I.P.  (Stone Mason  T&O  Rennicks Ardbraccan).

FARRELL – See Doran William.

FAY – This stone was erected by George Fay of Navan for him and his family.  Here lye ye body of Owen Fay, father of George.  Also Margaret wife of Owen.  Also Patrick son of Owen.  Also John Fay late of Navan deceased February ye 2nd (1709?).

FAY – In loving memory of our dear parents William and Catherine Fay.  Brothers Edward and James (Modern).

FITZPATRICK- Erected in memory of Patrick Fitzpatrick died 20th March 1983 aged 81 years.  His wife Catherine Fitzpatrick died 9th April 1902 aged 82 years.  Also their son James Fitzpatrick died 13th January 1901 aged 60 .

FLEMING – IHS Here lyeth the body of Mr Walter Fleming of Liffey St. Grocer who departed this life 26th Sep. 1769 aged 45.

GARGAN – Here lieth the body of James Gargan who departed August 21st 1782 aged 82 years.

GILLICK  – See Carroll Frances.

GOLSAN – Here lieth the body of John Golsan who departed this life ye 7th of February 1755 aged 56 years.  (East of church, badly eroded, beside next stone John Golsan).

GOLSAN – IHS Here lieth the body of John Golsan who departed this life the 22nd of June.  Anno Domini 1783 aged 84 years.  (East of church).

GURREEN – Erected by Edward Gurreen in memory of his wife Mary Gurreen who died Febry the 16th 1795 aged 60 years.

HENRY – Here lyeth the body of William Henry who departed ys life May ye 6th 1759 aged 75 years.   (Inside chuch beside west wall).

HOLMES – See Carroll Frances.

HOLTON – In loving memory of James Holton died June 1918.  Bartle died Jan 1930.  Finbarr died April 1953.  Bridget died April 1960.  Kevin died May 1960.

JACKSON – This stone was erected by Christopher Jackson in memory of his son John deceased March the 17th 1778 aged 18 years.

JOHNSON – IHS Here lyeth ye body of John Johnson who departed this life November ye 16 ye year of our Lord Anno Domney 1724 eaged 80.  Also here lyeth ye body of Mary Johnson alias Dignen wife to John Johnson who departed ys life March ye 12 in year of our Lord Domini 1738 aged 60 years.

KENEDY – IHS This monument was erected by Tomas Kenedy in remembrance of his wife and son who departed thus life…  the 4th 1736…

KELLY – IHS Erected by Joe and Pat Kelly, Lime Kiln Hill, Navan in memory of their parents Pat Kelly died 22nd June 1902 and Julia Kelly died 10th August 1914.  Also their brothers John died 4th May 1887 and William died 15th Sept 1891.  Also their sister Mary died 3rd Nov 1937.  Also the above Pat Kelly who died 12th Jany 1941.  Also Joe Kelly died 5th September 1943.

LARACY – IHS Erected by James Laracy in memory of his father and mother Thomas and Judith Laracy in the year 1836.

LYNCH – IHS Erected by Mary Lynch otherwise Mary Smyth in memory of her parents and brother John Patrick and Michael Smyth of Belreask near Navan.  Here also lieth the body of the above Mary Lynch deceased January 30th 1818 aged 72 years.

LYNCH –Erected by P. Lynch in memory of his mother Mary Lynch died 6th March 1885 aged 36 years.  Bridget Lynch died 10th May 1897 aged 16 years.  Edward Lynch died 30th May 1903 aged 63 years.  Also the above Patrick Lynch died 30th Sept 1937. 


LYNCH – See Brien James.

MC CORMICK – See Conolly Patrick.

MC DONALD – In memory of Hugh Mc Donald, Sion Johnstown died 28th Jan 1971. Pray for me

MC GUINNESS – Erected by their sorrowing children in loving memory of Mary Mc Guinness who died Feb 9th 1918.  Also her husband Francis Mc Guinness who died Nov 22nd 1927 and their baby daughter who died Mar 12th 1914.

MC GUINNESS – Erected by Patrick and Thomas Mc Guinness, Butterstream, Navan in memory of their mother Anne Mc Guinness who died 23rd Aug 1916 and also their father John Mc Guinness who died 15th June 1925.  Also pray for the soul of their son Thomas Mc Guinness who died 7th Feb 1937.  The above Patrick who died Feb 23rd 1941 R.I.P.

MC MAGHAN – Here lyeth ye body of Hugh Mc Maghan, who departed ys life March ye 1st 1751 aged 78 years.  This stone was erected by his son Archey.

MC NALLY – In loving memory of  John Mc Nally, Kells Rd, Navan died March 22nd 1921 aged 71 years.  Also his wife Mary Anne died December 9th 1927 aged 70 years and their children Mary died February 11th 1909 aged 23 years and Ane died August 7th 1904 aged 6 years.

MADDEN – In loving memory of our dear father and mother John and Anne Madden late of Navan.  Also  Peter, Patrick and Monica and Richard who died May 1901.  Also their sister Elizabeth Browne who died  Novr. 28th 1906 aged 58 years.  Also their brother Joseph who died Sep 20th 1916 aged 57 years.

MONAGHAN – RTS/3228 Rough Rider L. Monaghan Royal Army Service Corps 23rd February 1919 aged 39.  (Just west of the church).

MONTAGUE – Erected by Matthew Montague in memory of his brother Daniel Montague who departed this life the 3rd of November 1826 aged 35 years.  Also his father Christopher Montague who departed this life the 27th of April 1832 aged 82 years.  Also his mother Mary Montague who departed this life the 29th of October 1834 aged 62 years and his son Chris Montague who departed this life the 22nd of …

MORAN – In loving memory of Joseph Moran, Johnstown, Navan died 3rd April 1942 aged 46.  Interred at Kilmessan.  Also his son Neil died 26th Sept 1983 aged 56 following an accident.  R.I.P.  (North of church).

MORGAN – In loving memory of Michael Morgan died June 1st 1900 aged 65 years.   Also his wife Mary died July 3rd 1946 aged 88 R.I.P.   Their son Patrick died 1st April 1961.   His wife Rose died 3rd June 1961.

MORGAN – In loving memory of Patrick Morgan Johnstown, Navan.   Died 3rd February 1966 aged 22 years.   Also his mother Jane Morgan died 25th May 1970. R.I.P.

MULDOON – Sweet Jesus have mercy.  Erected by John Muldoon, Navan in loving memory of his wife Margaret who died 12th October 1940.  Also the deceased members of the Smith family.  Also the above John Muldoon died 29th October 1960  R.I.P.  (Stone mason Cullen, Cavan).  (East of ruin)

MULLEN – See Bryan Catherine.

NEILL – See Smith Edward.

O’BRIEN – IHS  In loving memory of John O’Brien, Johnstown.  Died 25th October 1944 aged 71 years.  Also his wife Elizabeth died 21st June 1972 aged 84 years.  R.I.P.

O’BRIEN – See Brien.

O’NEILL – In memory of Katie O’Neill died 1st Sept 1945.  Her husband William died 15th August 1978.  R.I.P.

O’NEILL – …..(top part of inscription eroded).  Also Mrs Mary O’Neill, Oldtown died 11th July 1940 and Thomas O’Neill died 25th Nov 1948 aged 92 R.I.P.  His son Vincent  O’Neill (Oldtown) died 30th October 1955.  (North of ruin).

O’REILLY – My Jesus Mercy “In loving memory of Matthew O’Reilly, Dormstown, Navan died 22nd November 1922.”  R.I.P.

O;REILLY – See Brien James.

QUINN – In loving memory Patrick Quinn died June 7th 1937.  Kate Quinn died Jan 9th 1969.  Thomas Quinn died May 26th 1955.  R.I.P.  (A cross with a wooden plaque bolted to it).

REILY – Here lyeth the body of Charles Reily who departed this life Oct the 18th 1729 aged … years.  This stone was erected by his son Thomas Reilly.

RODGERS – Erected by Thomas Rodgers of Navan in memory of his beloved sister Anne Rodgers who departed this life 4th Dec 1838 aged 26 years. Also his sister Catherine (Boyle?) who departed this life 2nd Jan 1841 aged 55 years.  Also his father James Rodgers who departed this life 11th  February 1845 aged 72 years.  And also of his beloved mother Mary Rodgers who departed this life on the 22nd of September 1860 aged 77 years.

SMITH – Erected to the memory of Edward and Mary Smith, Kilcarne by their grand-daughter Winnifred Neill 1944.  R.I.P.  (North of church).

SMITH – In loving memory of James Smith, Johnstown died 9th June 1955.  His wife Mary  and parents.  Their sons Peter died 28th June 1975.  James died 21st Nov 1976.   Patrick died 18th November 1968 and his wife Mollie died 1950.  R.I.P.  (Inside church in a plot with a cross).

SMITH – In loving memory of John Smith, 17 Flowerhill, Navan.  Died 29th January 1970.  Also his parents.  R.I.P.  (East of church)

SMITH – See Muldoon John,

SMYTH – Here lieth the body of John Smyth who departed this life March the 27th 1789 aged 59 years.

SMYTH – See Bryan Catherine.

SMYTH – See Lynch Mary.

STAPLES – See Bryan Philip.

TOMLINSON – Here lieth the body of John Tomlinson of the city of Dublin.  He was a tender husband and an affectionate father and a sincere friend. He  departed this life lamented by all who knew him the 25th March AD 1750 aged 63 years.  (Grave slab inside east end of ruin).

TRAYNOR – In loving memory of Philip Traynor, Athlumney, Navan, died 4th Dec 1904.  His wife Mary died 31st May 1933. Their son Christopher died 24th Jan 1931.  Their daughter Rose died 22nd May 1932.

TULLY – In loving memory of Laurence Tully, Brownstown.  Also his son Owen who died 21st July 1893.

WEBBE – Here lies the body of Ann Webbe 33 D. 1711.  Here lyeth the body of William Webbe who departed this life March ye 8th 1732 aged 60.

WELSH – Here lyeth the body of Christopher Welsh who departed this life the 24th of December 1742 aged 85 years.  (Plaque set in the western wall on the inside of the ruin.   The inscription is surmounted by the instruments of the Crucifiction –the ladder, pinchers, spear, cross etc.).