MAUDLIN CEMETERY IN TRIM
St. Mary’s Abbey was home to “Our Lady of Trim”, a wooden statue reported to work miracles. The statue made Trim a major pilgrimage site from at least 1397. During the Reformation, the statue was burned and Henry VIII dissolved the abbey. The abbey’s bell tower, the “Yellow Steeple”, is the primary remnant of St. Mary’s.
The Maudlin Cemetery which was the site of the Leper Hospital of Mary Magdalene, and later a cemetery which was used as a burial ground for the poor who died in the workhouse.
I have visited the Trim many times as my mother’s immediate family live in Trim or are from the area but I was unaware of this old cemetery until I came across it today.
In 1892 Lord Walter Fitzgerald produced an account of this cemetery and here is a short extract: “This burial ground contains the old church of St. Mary Magdalen of which the chancel arch still survives. It is situated close to the town of Trim on its south side and seems now to be only used as a burial place for paupers who die in the trim workhouse nearby. Only two tombstones seem to have survived and they are situated to the east of the church ruins”.
I think that there are a few Maudlin Cemeteries in Ireland but I know, without doubt, that there is one in Naas which I have yet to photograph. The name is archaically spelled Maudlings; derives from Mary Magdalene, often depicted in art as mourning for Jesus after his crucifixion, and thus associated with burial grounds (cf. maudlin).