Abbeys & Friaries

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul. County Galway 1871

2020-05-06T14:10:35+00:00

One of the most beautiful settings in Ireland Kylemore Abbey is located in a beautiful glaciated valley in Connemara, co. Galway. It was built in 1871 as a private residence for Manchester Industrialists [...]

Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul. County Galway 18712020-05-06T14:10:35+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

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