Abbeys & Friaries

Castledermot, co.Kildare. c.10th Round Tower, c.9th Crosses and c.12th Friary

The small town of Castledermot in south Kildare takes it's name from 'Diseart Diarmad' meaning 'Dermot's Hermitage'. It must have been a very important ecclesiastical centre as there are many fine ruins including the remains [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara. co. Galway – 1871

Kylemore Abbey was originally built as a private residence for Mitchell and Margaret Henry between 1867 – 1871. They had come to this area from England on their honeymoon and were enchanted by the beauty [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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