Church of St. John the Baptist & Beehive Mausoleum

Reynella, Delvin, Westmeath

Hidden away along the N52 on route to Delvin from Mullingar, is the Church of St. John the Baptist (Church of Ireland) which dates back to 1798. Although now in ruin, the church and surrounding cemetery is still a point of interest, not only because everyone loves mysterious, derelict churches and old graveyards, but also because the land is home to a local - albeit forgotten curiosity.    

Located within the churchyard is a beehive-shaped mausoleum which was built c.1825 by Adolophus Cooke of Cooksborough House to house the remains of his father Robert. Cooke was an eccentric character - and you can read more about him here.

Adolphus built the tomb to resemble a beehive because he believed that his father would be reincarnated as a bee. Indeed, there is reportedly a small opening in the roof so that he can come and go as he pleases. Adolphus himself also ended up being burried here along with his nurse, whose name was Mary Kelly.

In the 1970s & 1980s, young adults used to attend a nightclub - "The Beehive Lodge" a few hundred metres along the track.