Ballintubber Augustinian Abbey

Map Reference: M154794 (1154, 2794)

The Abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded for the Augustinian Canons in 1216 by Cathan Crobderg O Conor, King of Connacht. The first abbot, Bricius died in 1225. In 1230 the Anglo-Normans, supporting Cathal’s son, Felim, against those who rebelled, came to Ballintubber, but were persuaded by the friars not to spend the night there. The abbey was burned in 1265. Throughout the succeeding centuries the abbey is mentioned several times in Papal letters and other documents. Not all the mentions are favourable. In the middle of the 15th century the canons were accused of living evil lives and later there were accusations of maladministration. In 1505 John, son of Richard de Burgo, was slain in the abbey by the sons of Ulick de Burgo. The last abbot was Walter MacEvilly, who submitted to Henry VIII in 1542 but it seems that the friars remained until 1585. Part of the abbey was granted to Edmond Barrett in 1595 but it seems that the friars were again in possession by the second quarter of the 17th century. Although the abbey was badly damaged during Cromwell’s campaign, the shell of the church remained intact. There were partial restorations in 1846 and 1889. The final restoration was begun in 1963 and completed in time for the 750th anniversary of the foundation in 1966.

The abbey today consists mainly of a cruciform church with three transitional east windows.

The chancel has ribbed vaulting with carved capitals supporting it.

After the fire in 1265 much of the church was rebuilt. At this time the west doorway was inserted and the chapter house with its east doorway was built.

The cloister, which lies to the south of the church, has been partly restored and may date from the 15th century. It has an arcade with dumbell-shaped pillars, some of which are decorated.

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 Abbeyderg, Co Longford St Mary‘s, Drogheda, Co Louth 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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