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History

Tithe Applotment Book 1833

Tithe Applotment Books are were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre. The occupiers were due to pay tithes (taxes) to the Church of Ireland.

The National Archives has made these books available to the public.
There is a manuscript book for almost every civil (Church of Ireland) parish in Ireland. The books have the names of occupiers of each townland, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes.

A search by location shows the following for the parish of Clonmethan:

If you click on the word “search” above, you can get more detail, but below shows an example of what can be found under “Clonmethan”.

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Remembering parishioners who lost their lives at war

As the sun set on the evening of October 9th 2020, a plaque was erected in Clonmethan to remember those men who left the area over a hundred years ago as volunteers. With a vision of a better world in their hearts and minds, they left family thinking that they may well be home for Christmas. History has shown how wrong they were. A century has passed, the world has changed dramatically and they have been forgotten. Their remains lie all over the world, but their roots are still here in north county Dublin. So here in our little village with no loved ones left to mourn them, at the going down of the sun, we remember them.

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Abandoned Ireland – Tarquin Blake on St Mary’s

In 2015, Tarquin Blake published a book “Abandoned Churches of Ireland” – click on the image below to see the book’s website.

http://www.abandonedireland.com/Abandoned%20Churches%20of%20Ireland.html

The book contains some notes on St Mary’s Clonmethan. We will not reproduce the comments in full here (lest we break copyright), but some words from the book give us some insights in the story of St Mary’s.

According to Blake, the church was first mentioned in 1216. By 1654, the church was in a state of disrepair, but was rebuilt with the help of the Board of First Fruits in 1818. In 1834, the parish population was noted as including eight Church of Ireland members and over 600 Roman Catholics.

Blake nte sthe last marriage in the church was in 1917, and the last baptism in 1933. The church closed in 1960.

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Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and Rev Aldhouse

As you may have seen on some earlier posts, Rev F H Aldhouse was the last rector at St . Mary’s Clonmethan. It seems we – the Friends of Clonmethan – shared a common interest with him. Rev Aldhouse was a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, a society whose mission is to  ‘preserve, examine and illustrate all ancient monuments and memorials of the arts, manners and customs of the past, as connected with the antiquities language, literature and history of Ireland’ – see http://rsai.ie/about/. According to the society’s journal, (Vol 6, No 2), Rev Aldhouse as admitted as a member at a meeting held at ‘the Society’s Rooms, 6 St Stephen’s Green, 26 September 1916’. He was proposed by W. Cotter Stubbs, who was a member of the society’s council.

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History

Photos of old abandoned churches

Here is a link to an article in Journal.ie from a few years ago showing some old churches around Ireland. Our church has been in a worse state than some of those shown, br great work has been done and fingers crossed, one day it may be restored to its former self.

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Remembering a Rector and War Chaplin

Postponed until a later date due to Covid 19 restrictions.

War-time France 1917 and bucolic North County Dublin – it is difficult to imagine two completely different places to work as a clergyman. However, that is what happened when Reverend Frederick Aldhouse swapped his parish in Oldtown for the battlefields of France.

A local community group The Friends of Clonmethan have been working  for some time to improve the churchyard and grounds of Saint Mary’s Church in Oldtown, the parish of Reverend Aldhouse. The church had become overgrown since its closure in 1960 but an active group of people have been working away – mowing the grass, removing ivy and restoring the entrance gates. All the work has been done against the background of Covid-19, while adhering to HSE protocols on Social Distancing.

On Friday 28th August at 7pm, Archbishop Michael Jackson will bless a new headstone to Reverend FH Aldhouse, the last resident Rector of the parish.  Also in attendance will be Rector Neal Phair from Swords Group of Parishes and Father John Keegan from Rolestown parish.  

A noted writer and poet, Reverend Aldhouse initially came to St Mary’s in 1914.  He saw service as a Chaplain in The First World War, returning to Clonmethan in 1919 where he remained as Rector until his death in August 1949. Frederick Aldhouse provided comfort to soldiers as their Padre during the Great War, to the Church of Ireland members of the village and to his neighbours and friends of all faiths.  Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Clonmethan, his final resting place is marked with a beautiful headstone inscribed with some of his poetry.

Clonmethan Church is located 750 metres from the village of Oldtown on the R122 in the direction of Naul.

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Views from above

Some great work has gone on this week. Some of the Friends of Clonmethan were cleared for take-off – well, put into a boom lift – to clean off plaster and ivy from the upper reaches of the church. Some great views from on high.

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History News

That big tree…..

Any of you who have ever visited the church and graveyard at Clonmethan would certainly have seen the large beech tree (below). It was measured recently and has a circumference of 232 inches. Based on a calculator at tree-guide.com this puts it at 346 years old. This calculator has a tolerance of about 10% either way, giving a range of 312- 380 years old.

Assuming an age of 346, this tree was a seedling in 1674. Have a look here for some key facts of that year.

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Restoration – the beginnings

Last week, the Friends of Clonmethan started to work on the outside of the church. The task at hand was to remove the old plaster ( a dashed finish which covered the original stone work ). Some of it could be “talked down” but some was quite stubborn. Teamwork prevailed, and as you can see from the photos below, the outside is quite clean and looking more like it’s original self. In time, we would hope to re-point the original stone work.

As you may notice in the photos, there is a ring of concrete around the top of the stone work of the nave of the church. This was poured when the roof was taken off in the 1950s. It has done its job and preserved the stone work very well.

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Rev F. H. Aldhouse remembered

Today just before noon, our community paid tribute to Rev F H Aldhouse. He provided comfort to his comrades as their padre during the Great War (1914-18), to the Church of Ireland members of our village and to his neighbours and friends of all faiths. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Clonmethan. His final resting place is marked with a most magnificent stone in the graveyard, with some of his own poetry inscribed  thereon. Do call in and pay your respects in not too distant future.