Medieval Monastic Remains, Co. Wexford

The following list is from the ‘Archaeological Survey of County Wexford’. It should be of use to any genealogical researcher regardless of whether or not they ever visit Ireland in that it names those churches which are considered to be or have been parish churches for an area giving the townland that the church was located it. It also gives some indication of whether or not there was a graveyard associated with the church, as well as graveyards that were not located in the grounds of a church. Plus, it gives us some idea of the period churches were in use.

The placenames are listed alphabetically:

OS 4:7:6 ‘Abbey (site of)’ An abbey of the Augustinian Canons Regular existed here at the Suppression in the sixteenth century. No traces of any buildings exist today. Head of ogee-headed window, said to be from the site, now at the County Museum, Enniscorthy.

OS 34:8:4 ‘Abbey (Site of)’ Marked ‘Abbey (site of)’ with outline of small building on 1841 OS 6-inch map. No visible remains at ground level but local knowledge of walls encountered in drainage works c. 1950.

OS 6: 10:4 ‘Monastery (site of)’ Marked only on 1940 OS 6-inch map. Not visible at ground level apart from some mounds of stone. Well with drystone-walling on site.

OS 3:6:2 ‘Friary (Site of)’ FMarked ‘Friary (Site of)’ on 1841 and 1940 OS 6-inch maps. Origin of tradition probably Lewis (1837, vol. 2, 15). Not visible at ground level. Stone mortar from site at nearby house.

OS 6:1:3 ‘Monastery (Site of)’ Marked only on 1940 OS 6-inch map. There is no information regarding the history or nature of the site. Area has been reclaimed. Not visible at ground level.

OS 39:10:5 ‘Dunbrody Abbey (in ruins)’ Abbey Granted to Cistercians of Buildwas in 1171-5 by Harvey De Montmorency, it was transferred to St Mary’s in Dublin in 1182. Church of nave and aisles, chancel and transepts survives complete except S arcade of nave and S aisle reduced to foundations. Each transept has three groin-vaulted chapels on E side. Night stairs leads from S transept to dormitories which do not survive. Fragmentary remains of chapterhouse and parlour in E range. Refectory walls surviving almost to full height with remains of reader’s lectern in S range and porter’s lodge on the W side surround the cloister, the arcade of which does not survive. Fortified with tower of two storeys and parapet over transept in fifteenth century which involved strengthening the transept piers. Monastery suppressed in 1536 and granted to Sir Osborne Etchingham in 1545, who built a dwelling of two storeys and attic over chapels of S transept. House has numerous square-headed windows in limestone.

OS 17:11:2 ‘Glasscarrig Priory, (in ruins)’ Monks of the Order of Tiron founded St Mary’s Priory which in 1193 was made a dependency by the Cantetans or Condons of the daughterhouse of St Dogmells’ in Pembrokeshire. It held many lands and benefices in Wexford and Carlow. Suppressed in 1543. In 1560 remains included a cell, church, hall, two rooms, chantry and small yard. One wall (L 12.7m) with no distinguishing features remains. Lady’s Well or Tobermurry, a rectangular well (dims. 2.5m x 3m) with concrete surrounds, lies c. 160m to SW.

OS 39:9:5 ‘Leper Hospital (site of)’ Leper hospital (site, tradition) Known only from OS 6-inch map. No historical references or local traditions. Shaw-Mason records that a large collection of human bones was found at Greatisland,perhaps at this location. Burial of two adults in a stone compartment investigated by M. Cahill in 1979 close to site. Within possible ringwork.

OS 41 Priory (Site) St Mary’s Carmelite Priory founded in the fourteenth century by the Furlongs. Site was derelict at the Suppression when no description given. Location unknown but O’Donovan says it was at S of townland. Stones used to build Horetown church which may be on site.

OS 40:2:5 ‘Abbey (Site of)’ Called ‘Abbeybraney’ and known only from OS 6-inch maps of 1841 and 1925. Thought to have been a house of Franciscan Third Order in fifteenth century. Site located by Lewis (1837, vol. 2, 364). Not visible at ground level.

OS 3:10:3 ‘Site of Augustinian Friary’ Marked ‘site of Augustinian Friary’ on 1841 and 1940 OS 6-inch maps. Origin of tradition probably Lewis (1837, vol. 2, 15). Not visible at ground level.

OS 26:1:5 ‘St. John’s House’ Monastery of the Order of St Victor founded by Gerald de Prendergast in 1230 and subsequently attached to St Thomas’ in Dublin at which time it became Augustinian. Not visible at ground level. (Lewis 1837, vol. 1, 604

OS 45:10:1 ‘Abbey (in ruins)’ Cistercian abbey founded in 1200 by William Marshal as a daughterhouse of Tintem in Wales. Nave and chancel with groin-vaulted chapel to E of destroyed S transept, probably built c. 1300. Nave has W entrance and three pointed arches to possible N and S aisles which together with N transept may have never been built. Chancel has large E window from which the tracery has been removed, and has external corbel table with decorated corbels. Three windows in N and S walls altered in seventeenth century. Unvaulted crossing with two storeys over is reached by spiral stairs attached to NW pier.

Granted to Anthony Colclough in 1560s who fortified the chancel crossing into a four-storeyed tower house. The chancel was transformed into a three-storeyed house with elliptical-headed windows and two storeys built over vaulted chapel. In the early eighteenth century the nave was transformed into a dwelling. Excavations in 1982-3 by A. Lynch revealed foundations of E wall of cloister arcade and drain beneath S end of E range. Gatehouse, altered to stables, survives on W side of cloister.

Churches and Graveyards of County Wexford: