Holy Orders 1100-1500

Between c.1100 and 1500 roughly 400 new abbeys, priories and friaries were established across Ireland. These accommodated men and women who lived communally according to particular religious rules, the origins of which lay in Continental Europe. They were responsible for the introduction of new ways of pursuing religious life, social provision and land management. They also established a form of architectural planning designed for a communal life of work and prayer and became an important conduit for new artistic ideas into Ireland.

Here are some examples of Monasteries & Abbeys that were built during this period

Kilcrea Friary, Ovens. County Cork 1465

2020-04-29T19:34:27+00:00

 Built under the patronage of Cormac MacCarthy The Kilcrea Friary is a medieval abbey located near Ovens in County Cork. It takes its name from a 6th-century saint named Cyra who is said to [...]

Kilcrea Friary, Ovens. County Cork 14652020-04-29T19:34:27+00:00

The Magdalene Tower, Drogheda. County Louth 1370

2020-04-25T19:17:34+00:00

This elegant Gothic belfry tower dates to 1370 and are the only remains of what was once the Dominican Friary of Saint Mary Magdalene. Lucas de Netterville, then Archbishop of Armagh, founded a monastery [...]

The Magdalene Tower, Drogheda. County Louth 13702020-04-25T19:17:34+00:00

Boyle Abbey, Boyle. County Roscommon  1161-1592

2020-04-29T13:57:47+00:00

An excellent example of an early Irish Cistercian Monastery Boyle Abbey was established in 1161 under the patronage of the MacDermotts and was completed in 1218. It was the first Cistercian monastery founded [...]

Boyle Abbey, Boyle. County Roscommon  1161-15922020-04-29T13:57:47+00:00

Sligo Abbey, Sligo Town. County Sligo 1252

2020-05-06T14:01:22+00:00

The only sculptured 15th century altar to survive in Ireland Sligo Abbey is located right in the middle of Sligo Town. It was built by Maurice Fitzgerald for the Dominicans in 1252 and [...]

Sligo Abbey, Sligo Town. County Sligo 12522020-05-06T14:01:22+00:00

Castledermot, County Kildare 10th-18th centuries

2020-05-04T12:00:54+00:00

site of the earliest known Irish Parliament & The oldest intact stone window in western Europe This small town was originally called 'Diseart Diarmad'; meaning 'Dermot's Hermitage'. This was once a very important [...]

Castledermot, County Kildare 10th-18th centuries2020-05-04T12:00:54+00:00

Murrisk Abbey, Murrisk. County Mayo 1456

2020-05-08T09:13:43+00:00

the ancient starting point for pilgrims to climb Croagh Patrick  Murrisk Abbey in County Mayo was founded 1456 by the Augustinian Friars on the site of a former church reputedly founded by St [...]

Murrisk Abbey, Murrisk. County Mayo 14562020-05-08T09:13:43+00:00

Clare Abbey, Ennis. County Clare 1195

2020-04-29T17:59:42+00:00

The first, largest and one of the most important Augustinian houses in Ireland Clare Abbey was founded in 1195 and is situated on an elevated site beside the Fergus River. This was the [...]

Clare Abbey, Ennis. County Clare 11952020-04-29T17:59:42+00:00

Burrishoole Friary, Newport. County Mayo 1468

2020-05-08T09:15:34+00:00

100-year-old nuns attacked, stripped and beaten here This national monument is the beautiful ruin of Burishoole Abbey. It was founded by Sir Richard de Burgo for the Dominican order in 1469, who resigned his [...]

Burrishoole Friary, Newport. County Mayo 14682020-05-08T09:15:34+00:00

Inch Abbey, Downpatrick, County Down 1180

2020-05-03T17:47:16+00:00

Ireland's first Gothic arch & Game of Thrones  Inch Abbey was established as a Cistercian house by John de Courcy and his wife Affreca in 1180 as an act of repentance for the [...]

Inch Abbey, Downpatrick, County Down 11802020-05-03T17:47:16+00:00

Fore Abbey, Fore. County Westmeath 1180

2020-05-05T17:57:27+00:00

One of Ireland's finest Benedictine Abbeys & The 7 wonders of Fore The beautiful Fore Abbey is located in Fore, co. Westmeath. It was founded in 1180 by the Norman, Hugh de Lacy, [...]

Fore Abbey, Fore. County Westmeath 11802020-05-05T17:57:27+00:00

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. County Meath 1142

2020-04-26T13:28:39+00:00

Ireland's first and most important Cistercian Abbey Mellifont Abbey was founded by St Malachy in 1142. This was the first, the richest and the most important of Ireland's 35 Cistercian abbeys. The Cistercian [...]

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. County Meath 11422020-04-26T13:28:39+00:00

Hore Abbey, Cashel. County Tipperary 1266

2020-04-26T14:06:58+00:00

Paranoid dreams of killer monks, Benedictines and Yew trees Hore Abbey is located in a beautiful setting underneath in a field under the watchful eye of the Rock of Cashel in co. Tipperary. [...]

Hore Abbey, Cashel. County Tipperary 12662020-04-26T14:06:58+00:00

Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge. County Offaly 6th -12th centuries

2020-04-29T17:23:02+00:00

One of Ireland's greatest ecclesiastical centres The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centers. St Ciaran was a young preacher [...]

Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge. County Offaly 6th -12th centuries2020-04-29T17:23:02+00:00

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head. County Wexford 1200

2020-05-08T07:14:11+00:00

A great storm & the promise of William Marshall  The beautiful Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his [...]

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head. County Wexford 12002020-05-08T07:14:11+00:00

Quin Abbey, Quin. County Clare 1433

2020-05-06T14:58:43+00:00

A former Norman castle, The Mac Namara's & many interesting architectural features Quin Abbey is located in the village of Quin in County Clare. It dates from 1433 and was built on the [...]

Quin Abbey, Quin. County Clare 14332020-05-06T14:58:43+00:00

Cong Abbey, Cong. County Mayo 1135

2020-04-29T16:06:13+00:00

Some of Ireland's finest early ecclesiastical architecture  Cong Abbey was founded on the former site of St Feichins Monastery by the great High King Turlough Mor O'Connor in 1135. The Abbey contains some [...]

Cong Abbey, Cong. County Mayo 11352020-04-29T16:06:13+00:00

Bective Abbey, Bective. County Meath 1147

2020-04-29T19:43:26+00:00

The most fortified Cistercian monastery in Ireland, Hugh de Lacy & Braveheart Bective Abbey is set in beautiful countryside beside a lovely old bridge over the River Boyne. It was founded in 1147 [...]

Bective Abbey, Bective. County Meath 11472020-04-29T19:43:26+00:00

St John’s Priory, Trim. County Meath 1202

2020-05-04T16:16:49+00:00

The Crutched Friars & a medieval hospital St John's Priory is located on the outskirts of Trim in County Meath. It was founded 1202 by Bishop Simon de Rochefort and was occupied by [...]

St John’s Priory, Trim. County Meath 12022020-05-04T16:16:49+00:00

Kilteel Monastic Ruins, Kilteel. County Kildare 12th century

2020-05-04T16:13:39+00:00

Unique 12th-century Romanesque sculptures  These monastic ruins, now a national monument, can be found in the historic village of Kilteel. The 12th-century Romanesque chancel arch is unique in Ireland for the fact that [...]

Kilteel Monastic Ruins, Kilteel. County Kildare 12th century2020-05-04T16:13:39+00:00

St Mary’s Church, Gowran. County Kilkenny 13th century

2020-05-07T13:01:21+00:00

clerics, Norman tombs & beautiful medieval carvings This national monument is St Mary's Church located in the village of Gowran in County Kilkenny. The church was served by a college of clerics who [...]

St Mary’s Church, Gowran. County Kilkenny 13th century2020-05-07T13:01:21+00:00

Dunbrody Abbey, Campile. County Wexford 1170

2020-05-02T14:38:02+00:00

One of Ireland's longest abbeys, A hedge maze & Strongbow's uncle Dunbrody Abbey is located in Campile in County Wexford. It was founded 1170 on the grounds of a former Cistercian monastery under [...]

Dunbrody Abbey, Campile. County Wexford 11702020-05-02T14:38:02+00:00

Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown. County Kilkenny 1180

2020-05-07T12:52:53+00:00

funny sculptural carvings & the choice location for burial Jerpoint Abbey is located just outside the beautiful village of Thomastown in co. Kilkenny. It was founded in 1180 as a Cistercian Abbey by [...]

Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown. County Kilkenny 11802020-05-07T12:52:53+00:00