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 Osraige on the site of an even earlier Benedictine monastery. It is notable for its imposing central tower and it’s sculpted cloister arcades which can be see in the image. The stone carvings, many of which are oddly humorous depict knights, ladies, bishops, dragons and even a man with a stomach ache! Jerpoint became a ‘favorite place’ of sepulchre (where people chose to be buried) and all the great families from the surrounding counties were dying to get into this place! It’s architecture style is a mix of Romanesque, late Norman style and early English. The abbey flourished until King Henry VIII began the ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries’ between 1536 – 51. After this period of unrest it was granted to James Butler (the 9th Earl Earl of Ormond) in 1541.

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