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Abbeymahon Abbey Church
 

County

Cork

Coordinates

N 51° 38' 13.9"   W 008° 44' 11.1"

Nearest town

Timoleague

Grid Ref.

W 49066 42936

Map No.

86

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

0

Date of visit

Saturday 22 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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Not much of the abbey survives today.


The abbey was founded in 1172 by Diarmait Mac Cormac Mac Carthaig, king of Desmond. The original site of the abbey was at Aghamanister, a townland about 1.9 km southwest (245°) from here. The abbey was colonized by a group of monks from the Cistercian Abbey in Baltinglass which was the mother house. About a century later, in 1278, the monks moved the abbey to a more spacious site here at Abbeymahon, on the estuary of the Argideen River, not far from the Timoleague Friary.
Unfortunately the income of the abbey was scarce throughout the year and for many years in a row, and this was a cause of distress for the monks that couldn't afford to leave the abbey to attend the General Chapter, and for this reason they were often admonished.
In 1568 the land was leased to the Viscount Barrymore and sixteen years later the lease was transferred to Nicholas Walsh, Justice of Munster, who was granted the land indefinitely in 1587 along with other lands.
Today only the ruins of the church survive, with the southeast and northwest walls and part of a tower in the southwest gable, where the entrance doorway is. The tower was probably the residence of the abbot. The church has the altar at the northeast (50°) end of the church. On a stone in the masonry in the southeast wall next to the altar there are three carved letters, IHS, the monogram for Jesus.
In the adjacent field there are the ruined remnants of a tower house.


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