Beauparc Parish History.


The parish of Beauparc is on the south side of the river Boyne between Navan and Slane. It shares boundaries with the parishes of Donore, Duleek, Ardcath, Skryne and Johnstown. The present parish comprises a union of the medieval parishes of Ardmulchan, Painestown, Danestown, Kentstown, Brownstown, Ballymagarvey and Tymoole. These parishes trace their history back to Norman times. Some may also be the sites of earlier monastic foundations but there are no records to prove this. In 1990 remains of a pre-Norman Christian site were discovered in the town land of Hayestown near a holy well called Bride's well. The local names of Dollardstown and Painestown derive from Ade Dullard and his relative Paganus Dullard who were given grants of land by Hugh de Lacy in 1175. The ancient church of Danestown was dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity.

Dean Cogan in his history "The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern" deals with the parish under the name Ardmulchan, as it was from here that the parish was administered in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Cogan waxes eloquently on the beauty of the place:

The old church of Ardmulchan is situated on an elevated bank, over the blue waters of the Boyne, from which an extensive view can be had of the scenery and meanderings of that river, from the distant round tower of Donaghmore and the castle of Dunmoe to the ivy clad belfry of the Abbey of Slane. The church consists of a lofty square bell tower and the shell of the old chapel..... If any relic of by-gone days speak to the heart of the pilgrim; if any deserted temple awaken holy thoughts and melancholy reminiscences, the crumbling walls of Ardmulchan, the romantic beauty of the scenery, and the solitude of the place cannot fail to impress the tourist with the grandeur and piety of once happy Catholic Ireland.

Ardmulchan derives its name from Ard Maelchon, "Maelchu's Hill". The Four Masters record a battle which took place there in 968. Olaf Cuaran, King of Dublin and his men plundered Kells and carried off a prey of cows. They were returning south when they were met by a band of the southern Hy Neill and compelled to fight at Ardmulchan. The Dublin Norsemen won this battle.

The parish, from the earliest times, had been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. At the time of the Reformation mass continued to be celebrated at Ardmulchan until as late as 1613. In that year an inquisition was held in the town of Duleek, before Nicholas Kenny, gentleman. The chantry (which involved daily mass) was suppressed, the endowments were confiscated and the curate removed from office. But by the middle of that century a community of Franciscans had settled in Ardmulchan and attended this and adjoining parishes. In 1672 the parishes of Ardmulchan and Painestown were united. In 1677 the Porter family presented a chalice to the Franciscans at Ardmulchan. This chalice remained in the parish until the 1950's when it was entrusted to the Maynooth Museum. It was taken in a midnight break-in, in 1980 and has not been seen since. According as priests departed, the parishes were grouped together until they formed the present union. "Mass was celebrated in the days of the persecution under the shade of an immense thorn tree, in a lonely part of the country, on the townland of Veldonstown.

In the Furze division... there was a mud wall thatched house on the townland of Hayestown. The next erection took place in the townland of Seneschalstown, the site of which was given by the family of Aylmer." (Cogan)

In 1834 the Catholic population of the parish registered 3513. In 1937 the figure was 1305. The total population in AD2000 is 2,500. There are two churches in the parish at present - one in Yellow Furze and one in Kentstown. Both are dedicated to Our Lady under the title of her Assumption.

Further Reading:
Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern by Rev. A. Cogan:
Histroy of the Diocese of Meath: Compiled and Edited by Olive Curran:
Yellow Furze Memories by Conor Brennan:
Kentstown in Bygone Days by Kentstown ICA Members:


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Ashfield House.

Ashfield House, Beauparc, is a simple three storey Victorian house. It was the home of Arthur George Murray, brother of the architect William G. Murray who designed the house. Four stone creatures guard the garden steps. The grounds were landscaped with laburnum, red flowering chestnuts and various decorative trees. Arthur Murray held a house and lands at Painestown in the 1850s. In 1876 Arthur G. Murray held 674 acres in County Meath. In 1901 John Henry Murray was the proprietor. In 1911 his sister, Isabel Henrietta Murray was the owner/occupier. Her brother, Charles Frederick, also lived at Ashfield. The Murray family left Ashfield in 1927 and emigrated to Canada. The estate was divided by the Land Commission.

In the twentieth century Captain Charles Wren Newsam ran a stud farm at Ashfield. He gave one of his fields for playing gaelic football. His daughter, Eileen, married the 7 th Marquess of Slane in 1950. The marriage was dissolved in 1970. Henry Mountcharles, now 8th Marquess, is their son. Eldon and Dede Power family lived at Ashfield from 1965 when they purchased the property. Their daughter, Carole Crossman Power, married Lord Simon Charles Conyngham, second son of the 7th Marquess of Slane and Eileen Newsam in 1990. In 2006 Ashfield was purchased by Michael Bailey of Bovale Developments for the sum of €6.5 million at auction.

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