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 alternative port to New Ross. The remains of this once considerable town include two tower houses, two fortified churches and an Augustinian Friary. The tower house is known as the Black Castle and is attributed to the FitzHenrys. It is believed that the Abbey was founded by the Kavanaghs for the Augustinian Friars in about 1317 and was later extended and fortified by Nicholas Fitzhenry in c.1385. The friars were expelled in 1544 but continued to serve in the locality up until the 18th century. The town was largely abandoned in the 17th century probably due to it’s isolation, competition from New Ross and because it’s port started to silt up. The site is private property and not open to the public but great views can still be see of it by the Massoleum on the main road out of Wellington Bridge.
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