Baltinglass Cistercian Abbey

Map Reference: S868889 (2868, 1889)

Dermot MacMurrough the king of Leinster, renowned for bringing the Anglo-Normans to Ireland in 1169, founded this Cistercian monastery in 1148. He brought monks from Mellifont to what he called 'The Valley of Salvation'. Most of the building was probably completed by 1170. Little remains of the monastery apart from the church.

The south aisle arcades for the nave and chancel are fairly intact and have alternating round and square pillars. The decoration of the capitals is similar to that of Jerpoint which is a daughter house of Baltinglass.

The crossing tower was built in the later Middle Ages. In the 19th century the east end of the church was rebuilt to form a Protestant parish church. The upper portions of the tower and the three east windows date from this time. It remained in use until 1883.

The fragmentary west windows are 12th century.

The transepts of the abbey church has each two east chapels which have been reduced almost to foundation level. A large mausoleum has been built in the south transept obscuring most of the chapels. In the chancel there is a triple sedilia in the south wall with a small plain piscina

There is a 12th century south doorway which led to the cloister

Close to the east wall is a large stone font and a smaller circular stone with a small font basin.

Attached to the wall at the entrance to the south transept is a very fine gravestone with various motifs and an lengthy raised-letter inscription.

After the Suppression in 1541 the monastery buildings and lands were passed to Sir Thomas FitzEustace, a Catholic loyalist.

For more examples of Cistercian Abbeys click the following links

Corcomroe, Co Clare Grey Abbey, Co Down Inch Abbey, Co Down Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway Duiske Abbey, Co Kilkenny Jerpoint, Co Kilkenny Monasteranenagh, Co Limerick Abbeylara, Co Longford Abbeyshrule, Co Longford Mellifont, Co Louth Bective, Co Meath Boyle, Co Roscommon Holy Cross, Co Tipperary Hore Abbey, Co Tipperary Kilcooly, Co Tipperary Dunbrody, Co Wexford Tintern, Co Wexford

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