NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: BLUNDELSTOWN, CO. MEATH

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR ME032-070 Licence number: E1129


Site type: Graves of indeterminate date


ITM: E 693737m, N 761629m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.596130, -6.583916

In August 1967 an inhumation burial was discovered by workers for the Land Commission while digging for sand near Skreen, Co. Meath. The work was being carried out in the vicinity of St Columba’s Church and graveyard, a disused site, which first appears on the second edition (1909) of the 6in. Ordnance Survey map. The upper half of the skeleton had been broken up when it was discovered, and this part of it had been removed. The site was reported to the NMI by An Garda Síochána at Navan and was visited the following day by Étienne Rynne and John Waddell. A one-day rescue excavation was undertaken.

Location (Fig. 6.35)
The site was in the townland of Blundelstown, east Co. Meath, close to the village of Skreen.62

Fig. 6.35—Location map, Blundelstown, Co. Meath.

It lies in a curved extension of an esker that loops around behind the church, as if enclosing it (marked on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6in. map as an ‘embankment’).

Description of site
The burial lay between 0.4m and 0.6m below ground surface. The bones of the upper part of the body were heavily disturbed.63 There does not seem to have been any evidence for stone lining, and it is probable that the body was placed in a simple pit. The in situ portion of the burial was extended; the skeleton was in a supine position with the hands by the sides, with the right hand stretching slightly nearer the feet than the left. The body was aligned west/east, with the head to the east. From a rough measurement made on the remaining portion of the skeleton it would seem that the body must have measured approximately 1.57m in height.

According to Rynne, the general size of the bones would indicate that they were those of a young adult. Rynne states that this burial may be associated with the graveyard and church nearby, and may therefore be of relatively recent date, buried some time after 1902, when the church was built.

62. Parish of Templekeeran, barony of Skreen. SMR ME032-070——. IGR 293807 261609.
63. The human remains were not acquired.