Hore Abbey Church




N 52° 31' 07.0"   W 007° 53' 53.7"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 06956 40763

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Thursday 12 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The abbey is in the middle of a field where cattle graze and do their things. Watch your steps even along the footpath.

Hore Abbey was founded as a Benedectine monastery in 1266, but in 1272 Archbishop David McArville expelled the monks to found a Cistercian community.
According to the tradition the Archbishop expelled the Benedectines because he had dreamed that they were plotting to kill him, but it's more likely that the Archbishop's interference with the local commerce was disapproved by locals, so he took in the town a new monastic order. He too became a Cistercian. The monks were brought from Old Mellifont. This was the last Cistercian abbey founded in Ireland.
The church has a cruciform plan with the chancel to the east (100°). The chancel had a three-light window which was very high, but now it has been partly walled up. The altar under the window is still in place. The nave has a north and south aisle. A north and a south transept depart from the chancel. To the north there were the sacristy, the dormitory and other domestic buildings, and the cloister. This was the only Cistercian abbey in Ireland with the cloister to the north of the church, and it's thought that this choice was due to the Rock of Cashel which is on this side of the monastery. This way the monks could see the Rock of Cashel during their moments of prayer and contemplation. Today only a scant fragment of this cloister survives.
A central massive tower was added in the 15th century.
By this time the community of the abbey was of only five monks. The monastery was never prosperous and in 1540 its annual income was of £21.
The abbey was dissolved in 1540 and in the following years the monastery was converted into a private housing complex, only the chancel and the crossing tower retained their functions and served as a local parish church.

The abbey is accessed through a long pathway across a land where cattle graze, so that visitors must be very careful where they put their feet.

We came here for the first time on June 6th, 2001, on a freezing day. This time the weather was on our side, with a clear sky and a scorching sun!

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