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Abbeyderg Priory Church
 

County

Longford

Coordinates

N 53° 38' 17.46"   W 007° 47' 13.44"

Nearest town

Keenagh

Grid Ref.

N 14080 65397

Map No.

41

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

78

Date of visit

Wednesday 20 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruins of the Priory seen from the south.


This Augustinian Priory was founded around 1199 by Gormghall Ó Cuinn, Lord of Rathcline, chief of Muintir Ghiollagáin. The priory was known at those times as Mainisterderg or Dearg, and it was dedicated to St. Peter.
The priory included a church with a north and a south transept, and a cloister area to the south of the church. A group of small chambers on the eastern side of the cloister was the domestic range for the monks.

The priory retained its function until 1540, when the religious community was dissolved during the period of king Henry VIII.
The buildings and the surrounding lands were granted to an English soldier, Nicholas Alymore. About ten years later the monastery was leased for 21 years to Shane O'Ferald, but before this lease would expire, the monastery was leased for another 21 years to Thomas Byram in 1567, when the monastery was largery destroyed. The church survived and remained mostly intact.

Today the church lies in ruins. The east wall is the more intact, with a triple Gothic window. Two very splayed windows are in the south wall. The north wall is mostly missing and the west side of the building is very overgrown.
It is possible that a square tower was built at the west end of the church, but no traces of it are visible today.

Outside the south wall, right under the windows, some fragments of the building have been collected, along with a millstone. Another millstone can be seen at the entrance of the graveyard, against the south side of the enclosure wall.

In the graveyard a standing stone can be seen among ancient burials.

The church is aligned to the east (100°).


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