The old Irish monasteries did not belong to any recognized religious order, In the 12th & 13th centuries however a number of well-known continental orders were introduced by St. Malachy of Armagh to spear head church reform. In came the Augustinians, the Cistercians, the Benedictans, the Dominicans and eventually the Franciscans. What was common to the abbeys of these new orders was an architectural lay-out of continental origin whereby a church stood tall on one side of an open rectangular cloister with the other 3 sides being occupied by a chapter-house, a refectory (or kitchen) and the domestic quarters for the monks. Many were looted or destroyed during King Henry VIII’s Reformation and again during the Cromwellian period of destruction.
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 [...]