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 Monument was one of the first buildings in Ireland to use Gothic architecture with its pointed windows as opposed to the Romanesque rounded style that was the norm at the time. This site was originally an island and the earlier wooden monastery here was plundered by Vikings on a number of occasions. The monks were originally from the Abbey of Lancashire and Erinagh and the buildings would have comprised of the church, cloisters, lavabos, refectories, an infirmary and a bakehouse which had two ovens. This, by medieval standards, was a wealthy abbey and monastic life continued here right up until the 16th century. It was finally dissolved in 1541 by King Henry VIII, when the abbey and its 850 acres of land were granted to Gerald, Earl of Kildare. Recently Inch Abbey was used as a film location for Game of Thrones.

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