Monastic Houses1100-1500

Monasteries & Abbeys 1100 – 1500 ad

Clonmines Medieval Borough, Wellington Bridge. co.Wexford c.13th-16th centuries

This interesting site is one of the best preserved and much over-looked medieval towns in Ireland. Clonmines probably began it's life as a Norman settlement established by William Marshall in the 13th century as an [...]

Murrisk Abbey, Murrisk. co.Mayo 1457

Murrisk Abbey was founded 1456 by the Augustinian Friars on the site of a former church reputedly founded by St Patrick. It is located near to foot of Croagh Patrick Mountain close to the sea overlooking [...]

Clare Abbey, Ennis. co.Clare 1195

Clare Abbey is situated on an elevated site beside the Fergus River and was the first, largest and most important Augustinian house in County Clare. It was founded in 1195 under the sponsorship of Domnall Mór [...]

Skellig Michael, Kerry. 6th-12th centuries (Sceilig Mhichíl- ‘Michael’s Rock in the Sea’)

This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is the early Christian monastery of Skellig Michael. It is located 13 km off the Kerry coastline at an altitude of 600 feet and is one of the most dramatic [...]

Burrishoole Friary, Newport. co.Mayo 1470

Burrishoole Friary, now a national monument, was founded in 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough. De Burgo was an ancestor of Risdeárd an Iarainn Bourke; Granuaile O'Malley's second husband, who originally owned the nearby [...]

Inch Abbey, Downpatrick. co. Down 1177

Inch Abbey was established as a Cistercian house by John de Courcy and his wife Affrica in 1177 as an act of repentance for the destruction of the Abbey at Erinagh. This State Care National [...]

Fore Abbey, Fore. co. Westmeath 1180

The beautiful Fore Abbey was founded in 1180 by the Norman, Hugh de Lacy and is one of the best preserved Benedictine Abbeys in Ireland. The original church on this site was founded 500 years [...]

The Round Tower of St Mary’s Abbey, Ferns. co. Wexford c.12th century

This is the 60 foot Round Tower of St Mary's Abbey in Ferns. The first church at this location was founded in the 7th century by St Aidan and later became vulnerable to Viking attacks in [...]

The Rock of Cashel, Cashel. co.Tipperary 11th-14th centuries (Caiseal / Rock of the Kings)

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in Europe. The site includes St Cormac's beautiful Romanesque [...]

Hore Abbey, Cashel. co.Tipperary – founded 1266 (Hore/Liubhair – Yew Tree)

Hore Abbey is located in a field on the west side of the Rock of Cashel and was originally founded by the Benedictine's in 1266. In 1272, David McCarvill, the Archbishop of 'The Rock' expelled [...]

Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge. co.Offaly – founded 546 a.d

The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centres. This strategic location on the Shannon was where the main east-west road across the [...]

Tintern Abbey, Saltmills. co. Wexford – c.1200

Tintern Abbey was founded in c.1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke and ‘the greatest knight that ever lived’. Marshal, who had set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of [...]

Quin Abbey, Quin. co.Clare – 1433

Quin Abbey is built on the site of an earlier monastery which burned down in 1278. Soon after, a Norman castle was built by a military commander called Thomas de Clare. The foundations of this [...]

Cong Abbey, Cong. co. Mayo – founded 1135

These are the remains of the Royal Augustinian Abbey of Cong. It contains some of the finest examples of early architecture in Ireland including Gothic windows, Romanesque doors, clustered pillars, arches, standing columns and floral [...]

Askeaton Friary, Askeaton. co.Limerick – founded 1389

This is the Franciscan Friary at Askeaton. It was founded by Gerald, 4th Earl of Desmond (The Poet) and built between 1389 and 1420. St Francis of Assisi (who founded the Franciscan Order) expected his [...]

Adare Augustinian Friary, Adare. co.Limerick – founded 1316

Adare Friary is located in one of the most beautiful villages in Ireland. It was formerly known as the "Black Abbey" (because the Augustinian friars wore a black habit.) and is now known as "St. [...]

The Friary on The Hill of Slane, Slane Village. co.Meath – 1512

This site is reputed to be to be the place where the Fir Bolg King 'Sláine' is buried and the location where St. Patrick lit the 1st paschal fire in 433 in defiance of King [...]

Bective Abbey, Bective. co.Meath – founded 1147

Bective Abbey is a national monument and was founded in 1147 by Murchad O Maeil-Sheachlainn, King of Meath, for the Cistercians. It was one of the earliest abbeys and is described as 'the daughter' of [...]

St John’s Priory, Trim. co.Meath – founded 1202 (Baile Átha Troim-town at the ford of Elderflowers)

These are the ruins of the Priory and The Hospital of St John the Baptist founded by Simon deRochfort in c. 1202. The Friary was occupied by a branch of monks called 'The Crutched Friars' [...]

The Abbey of St Mary d’Urso, Drogheda. co.Louth – 1206

This is Drogheda's oldest monastic site as is known as 'The Old Abbey' or the 'Hospital of St. Mary d’Urso'. The official name is however 'The Abbey of St. Mary d’Urso'. It was founded in [...]

Kilteel Monastic Ruins, Kilteel. co.Kildare – 12th century a.d

This National Monument is located in Kilteel, Kildare's highest village. This 12th century Romanesque chancel arch is unique in Ireland for the fact that it has figure sculpture. You can see Adam and Eve, a [...]

St Mary’s Abbey, Howth. co.Dublin – c.14th century a.d

The beautiful village of Howth is located in north county Dublin. The area has strong Viking connections and it's name is derived from the old Norse name for 'Head'. King Sitric, the Norse Viking King [...]

Thomastown Church, Thomastown. co.Kilkenny – abbey ruins c.13th, church 1809

This interesting 19th century church is located at the centre of the beautiful village of Thomastown in co. Kilkenny. The church was built in 1809 within the original structure of a 13th century ruined abbey. [...]

St Mary’s Church, Gowran. co.Kilkenny – founded 1280

This national monument is St Mary's Church located in the village of Gowran, co. Kilkenny. The church consists of a nave with an aisle and a long chancel and was served by a college of [...]

Dunbrody Abbey, Campile. co.Wexford – founded 1170

Dunbrody Abbey was a former Cistercian monastery founded in 1170. It was built  on the instructions of Herve de Montmorency (Strongbow's uncle), after the Norman invasion of Ireland and was completed in c.1220. This is [...]

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. co.Louth – 1142 (An Mhainistir Mhór -‘The Big Abbey’)

Mellifont Abbey was founded by St Malachy in 1142 and was the first and most important of Ireland's 35 Cistercian abbeys. The term Cistercian derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, [...]

Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown. co.Kilkenny – founded 1180

Jerpoint Abbey has been a national monument since 1880. It is located just outside the beautiful village of Thomastown in co. Kilkenny and was built in 1180 as a Cistercian Abbey by the King of [...]

Load More Posts