Inside Christ Church, Ballymartle, County Cork dates from 1866 when it replaced an earlier building, the ruins of which can be seen close by. Several funerary monuments were moved from the latter, including this touching memorial to William Meade erected by his parents, Sir John Meade and his wife the Hon Elizabeth Butler, a daughter of the second Viscount Ikerrin: their grandson, also called John, would be created first Earl of Clanwilliam in 1776. But William had long since departed this world since, as the inscription notes, having been born in 1689 he died in 1702, less than a fortnight before what would have been his thirteenth birthday.
A somber reminder that ‘in the midst of life we are in death’. It is, however, encouraging to know the little Church at Ballymartle is still in regular use. The Meade family had a long association with this Parish, producing several incumbents. One William Meade was promoted to Dean of Cork in 1736. Regrettably, the Meade family residence is long since a ruinous shell.
At least it is still possible to see what Ballymartle House looked like. Ballintober is gone entirely, with no images of it apart from the 1650 drawing which is somewhat questionable.