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Aghaboe Abbey Church
 

County

Laois

Coordinates

N 52° 55' 20.4"   W 007° 30' 50.3"

Nearest town

Borris-in-Ossory

Grid Ref.

S 32742 85802

Map No.

60

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

107

Date of visit

Saturday 11 June 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

7
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The simple yet fascinating remains of the Aghaboe Abbey.


Our first visit to this abbey was on September 27th, 2003. This placed stayed in my mind since for no particular reason. The building has no special carving or decoration and its position isn't amazing, but the neatness and the simpleness did leave a mark in my mind, and I wanted to see it again.
For some odd reason I always thought this place was Moor Abbey, and I think I mistook the two places because they have two features in common, they are both on a sharp bend and they are both slightly elevated from the surrounding ground.

The abbey was originally founded by St. Canice in 576, but it had to be rebuilt when two centuries later it was attacked and destroyed by the Norsemen.
Anyway it had to be rebuilt many times over the centuries because of fires or attacks and it became a major centre of learning, commerce and agriculture.
From 1052 to the 12th century this was the seat of the bishops of Ossory, replacing Seir Kieran. Under the influence of the Normans the seat was later transferred to Kilkenny.
In 1234 the building was burned and it was rebuilt as an Augustinian Priory.
In 1382 the Dominican Order was granted the monastery by Finghin MacGillapatrick, Lord of Ossory, and the priests remained in Aghaboe for four centuries despite their suppression of the religious orders in 1540.

Major restoration works have been carried out in the 1980's and it seems that they made a great job indeed.
Four modern marble plaques have been mounted on the south wall, one of these commemorates the beginning of the restoration works in 1984, another one commemorates the visit of Mary McAleese in 1998.

The building is perfectly aligned east-west.


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