Jerpoint Abbey is located just outside the beautiful village of Thomastown in co. Kilkenny. It was founded in 1180 as a Cistercian Abbey by the King of Osraige and is notable for its imposing central tower and it’s sculpted cloister arcades. The stone carvings, many of which are oddly humorous depict knights, ladies, bishops, dragons, and even a man with a stomach ache! Jerpoint became the chosen place of burial for members from all the great families in the surrounding counties. Its architectural 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. This site has been recognized as a National Monument since 1880.