Abbeyderg Augustinian Priory

Map Reference: N142653 (2142, 2653)

Abbeyderg Priory was founded about 1215 by Gormgall O’Quinn. It was dedicated to St Peter. The first abbot was possibly Oissin who died in 1217. Bishop Brendan of Ardagh was buried here in 1255. Nicholas MacMurtagh was appointed abbot in 1400 after the death of Christian O’Donegan. Members of theses two families seem to have held the abbacy on several occasions during the succeeding century. The last abbot seems to have been John O’Ferral who was still renting the priory in 1548. In 1582 the lands, valued at £2, were granted to Nicholas Ailmer.

Only the ruin of a cruciform church remains today. For the most part the walls are 1m or less high and greatly overgrown. However the three walls of the chancel still stand to full height. There are three narrow lancet windows in the east wall and two smaller lancets in the south wall. The stonework in the south wall looks fresher and cleaner than elsewhere and it may be a modern re-building.

Near the southern edge of the surrounding graveyard is roughly shaped circular stone. It is pierced by a smooth circular hole about 20cm diameter. This hole is flanked by two shallow depressions. One of these is wedge-shaped. The other may originally have been identical but one side of it has broken away to leave an irregular gash. These depressions made have been made to hold some form of metal bracket similar to the bracket which supports an upper millstone. This stone may have started as a millstone but was abandoned after damage during carving. Why it has been preserved in the graveyard, and what its later function may have been, is open to speculation.

For details of other Augustinian Friaries click on the links below

Clare Abbey, Co Clare Killone, Co Clare Ballybeg, Buttevant, Co Cork Bridgetown, Co Cork Dungiven, Co Derry Clontuskert, Co Galway Dunmore, Co Galway Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry Callan, Co Kilkenny Kells, Co Kilkenny Adare, Co Limerick Rathkeale, Co Limerick St Mary‘s, Drogheda, Co Louth Ballintubber, Co Mayo Cong, Co Mayo Errew, Co Mayo Ballyboggan, Co Meath Athassel, Co Tipperary St Mary‘s, Cahir, Co Tipperary Fethard, Co Tipperary

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