Skryne, or Skreen as it is officially known, is a small village situated on and around a hill. The hill is a short distance west of Tara and the area is sometimes referred to as the Tara/Skryne Valley. The Hill of Skryne is actually higher than its more famous neighbour at Tara. One can enjoy wonderful views of each hill from the summit of the other. In the 12th century, Hugh de Lacy granted the Barony of Skryne to his finest knight, Adam de Feipo. He subdivided it and granted twenty of his followers with land grants. Today, eight centuries later, one of those twenty estates is still held by a direct descendant of the original grantee, that of Dunsany.
In 875 the shrine and relics of St. Colmcille were brought for safe keeping to a monastery at the Hill of Skryne. Originally known as “Achall,” the present name Skreen derives from Scrin Choluim Chille – Colmcille's shrine. The monastery was plundered several times between the late 10th and 12th centuries. The shrine itself was robbed in 1027 but was later recovered. The present church and tower may date from the 15th century. It has two sections as had many churches of the time; a nave where the congregation sat and a chancel where the altar was placed. There is a massive tower at its west end, probably from the 14th century. Inside the tower are fragments of the baptismal font and a tomb-slab. To the north east of the church is a late medieval stone cross with a crucifixion carved on its west face.
(Image: Copterview Ireland)
Hill of Skryne, Skryne, Co. Meath