Inistioge Priory Church




N 52° 29' 21.1"   W 007° 03' 56.9"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 63510 37894

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Saturday 15 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

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From left to right the Prior's Tower, the Lady's Chapel and the belfry tower in the pinkish light after the sunset. It was past 10 pm when I took this photo.

It never happened before that we visited a place at such a late hour. It was 10 pm when we arrived here and we left at about 10:30 pm, even later than we did at Hill of Slane. The truth is that we didn't know of something like this in Inistioge and we were in the village only for the dinner.
It was way after the sunset, so all the photos have a pinkish light on them. This means that we definitily have to go back and see the place in the daytime.
What we found here were the remains of what once was a priory.
It was founded in 1210 by Thomas FitzAnthony for the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. The first prior was Alured, from the Priory of Kells, who originally was the prior of Bodmin in Cornwall. The last prior was Milo FitzGerald, who was also appointed Bishop of Ossory in 1528. Milo FitzGerald built the belfry tower and the cloister and was still prior at Inistioge when this Priory was suppressed by order of Henry VIII.
The remains are of the nave of the original church with its belfry tower, the Lady's Chapels and the Prior's Tower, also known as Black Castle. This latter building has a curious shape, very similar to the Knights Templar tower in Askeaton, with a square plan at the base and then it becomes octagonal halfway up.
Nothing of the cloister remains today and the modern Catholic church stands where the cloister was, but some nice fragments of decorated limestone are included in the perimeter walls of the modern church.
Some very old grave slabs can be seen in the old graveyard.

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