Located in the middle of a field, it is well known to rail travellers as they pass nearby, just opposite the main entrance to Carton House. The undulating lands of the surrounding field suggest previous buildings.
A 19th century boundary wall now surrounds the very small site, separating it from a private stud-farm, with access from the road. All that remains of the great monastic settlement are a cemetery and the gable end of a 14th century church, covered in ivy.
The site has some fine yew trees, but is very overgrown, and were it not for the heroic efforts of the people of Maynooth in preparing for the Annual Mass and Blessing of Graves that takes place every August, the rampant growth would preclude animals and people alike.
Grangewilliam Cemetery is linked to Maynooth College in that the 26th President is buried there. Monsignor Matthew O’Donnell was President from 1994 – 1996, and died in office at the age of 63. He had lived in Maynooth in his childhood and was buried in his father’s grave, to be joined by his mother Maura some nine years later.
An Ogham stone was found in the cemetery in 1902, and is now in the National Museum of Ireland. A report was published in the journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland in 1903: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25507273
Take the old road to Dublin, N4
2 Km from the town, and opposite the main entrance to Carton Estate, turn right at Louisa Bridge.
100 m on your left there is a gate, and a pedestrian access.