09 Jan Dunbrody Abbey , County Wexford
On Ireland tours be sure to visit Dunbrody Abbey !!
It was founded in 1170 BC and is one of the finest examples of a Cistercian Monastery in Ireland.
Dunbrody Abbey was founded in 1170 on the instructions of Strongbow , by Herve de Montmorency (his uncle) , after the Norman invasion of Ireland.
It was completed circa 1220 , but additions may have continued for some time.
Herve de Montmorency made a grant of the lands to the monks of Bildewas in Shropshire (England) , on condition that they should build the Abbey , for some monks of the Cistercian , or White Order (they wore white robes) , and upon condition that there should be a Sanctuary in the Abbey for all malefactors.
Dedicated to “St. Mary the ever Blessed Virgin , and St. Benedict” it has sometimes been called the Abbey of St. Mary de Port , for the refuge it contained by the express condition of its founder.
Herve de Montmorency became the first Abbot of Dunbrody and died there in 1205 , at the age of 75!! , and was buried in the Abbey.
The Abbey flourished for several centuries , but not without certain problems.
In 1355 , the Abbot and his monks appear to have taken to the Highway line of business , for it is said that William de Ross , Abbot of Dunbrody , and Adam and Hugh Barry , monks , were indicted for imprisoning one Thomas Herlyn , a monk of Tintern , and stealing two of his horses to the value of forty shillings. Also they expelled Thomas de Wiggemore , Abbot of Tintern, and robbed him of three horses to the value of eight marks. They were acquitted , perhaps fortunately.
The Abbey’s demise started when Alexander Devereux , the last Abbot of Dunbrody , granted to the King , his heirs and successors , the Abbey and all its possessions circa 1542.
Alexander Devereux changed religion , and became the Bishop of Ferns. The lands and Abbey then came into the possession of the Etchingham family.
Then in 1642 , Jane Etchingham , the heiress , married the second Earl of Donegall , whose descendants (Chichester family) own the lands to this day.
It was handed over by the Chichester family to the Office of Public Works in 1911 , and is maintained to the standards you see today by them.
A real hidden gem for your tours of Ireland…..highly recommended by Ireland Luxury Tours