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Malahide Abbey Church
 

County

Dublin

Coordinates

N 53° 26' 41.6"   W 006° 09' 47.8"

Nearest town

Malahide

Grid Ref.

O 22092 45417

Map No.

50

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

15

Date of visit

Tuesday 27 May 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The fascinating ruins of the Malahide abbey.


When we first went to Malahide Castle on May 8th, 2000, to visit the botanic gardens we totally ignored the ruinous abbey, and I don't know why. In my opinion it is a much better place to visit and offers many interesting details.
It's a quite large building with crenellated parapets at the roof level of the north and south walls. The west gable features an unusual triple bell-cote, which is perfectly conserved, and towers above the tall trees. In the west wall there's also a three-lights window. There's a very well preserved south transept. The east window has still its tracery in place. Next to the east window there's an inserted carved image of a human head on a red sandstone slab. High on the northeast corner of the building, made from a similar red sandstone slab, there's a much weathered sheela-na-gig. Its details are hard to tell, a big round head and a small body can be still made out.
The slab with the sheela-na-gig is at 3.05 metres from the ground and measures 46 centimetres of height, 22 centimetres of width and about 7 centimetres of thickness.
The access to the abbey is closed to the public, but I found a way to get inside anyway and I was able to look at the other side of the building along with its interiors. I tried to be less visible as possible so not to draw much attention on me and avoid other people to imitate me.
In the south wall of the building there's a doorway with a carved head of a bishop at the top of it.
The chancel and the nave are divided by an archway and a number of family tombs or grave markers can be seen inside. One of these family tombs is of the Talbot family who built the nearby castle and patronized the church.


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