The historic village of Duleek began as an early Christian monastic settlement and has the earliest record of a stone built church in the country. St Patrick established a bishopric here in about 450 AD and soon placed it in the care of St Cianan in 489 (who is now the local saint). It was later sacked several times by Viking Norsemen between 830 and 1149 and was also pillaged by the Normans in 1171. In April 1014 the bodies of Brian Ború and his son lay in state here on their way to Armagh. In the 12th century, Hugh de Lacy (the Anglo-Norman Lord of Meath) established a manor, constructed a motte castle and granted the church and the lands to the Augustinians.

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