Each site was visited to ensure access to the monument was possible and to ensure that the monument was still in its recorded location (either based on SMR details or documentary details). The cadaver stone at St. Christopher’s Church, Stamullen, Co. Meath is currently gated and closed to the public. Recent conservation efforts were undertaken and a roof has been constructed to cover the cadaver stone and associated double effigy within the tomb. St. Brigid’s Church has seasonal access or access by appointment only while the remaining sites assessed have full access to the public. Not all monuments were recorded as being in situ (original location). The tools used during site assessments were very basic and included:
- Measuring tape
- Digital Camera
- Recording Sheet
An assessment of each monument was undertaken to record the current location, dimension and condition of the monument. Standards for conservation assessment were based on those outlined in The Stone Monuments Decay Study 2000 (Pavia and Bolton 2001).
Each stone was investigated and recorded using a standard recording sheet. This recorded details of;
- Location – National Grid Reference (ITM)
- Site Name
- Current Location
- General Description – Inscriptions and iconography
A photograph of each monument was also taken to maintain an up to date record.
The intensity of decay on each monument was recorded using four categories (1 – 4) as defined by the Stone Monuments Decay Study 2000 (Pavia and Bolton 2001, 32).
- Mild Stone Decay – Monument shows little developed decay forms inducing scarce material loss
- Strong Stone Decay – Decay forms are intense having induced significant material loss and disruption.
- Mild Structural Damage – Incipient fractures, slightly dislodged quoins or batters.
- Strong Structural Damage – Major fractures, bulging and/or dislodgement. The monument is structurally unstable, its integrity compromised, with the danger of structural failure and collapse.