St Marys Churchyard on the Blessington Village Heritage Trail

St Mary’s Churchyard

St Mary’s is the only existing building associated with Archbishop Boyle and has been in regular use since it was dedicated in 1683. The building was enlarged in the 19th century with the addition of side aisles. The 17th century church tower contains the original bells, which bear Archbishop Boyle’s coat of arms and the date 1682, as well as what is believed to be the oldest working turret clock in Ireland. The adjoining churchyard is the burial place of the nineteenth century diarist, Elizabeth Smith who lived in Baltiboys House, four kilometres from Blessington. Sir Alfred and Lady Beit of nearby Russborough, are also buried in the churchyard, it also contains the graves of the crew of an RAF Hampden bomber, whose plane crashed near Blessington in April 1941, these four airmen were given a full military funeral by the Irish Army, the crash site was Blackhill, Lacken. The oldest headstone, believed to be from the first burial, bears the inscription “Here lyth the body of William Bloumly first buried in this Church Yard. Died April 2nd 1963”.

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