The crossing tower

Greyfriars Abbey/French Church

Franciscan Friary

The Francisican Friary was established, in the heart of Waterford, by the Anglo-Norman Knight, Sir Hugh Purcell in c.1240. The Friary may have benefited from a royal grant set up during the reign of Henry III. In 1395 it was the scene of a surrender by four Irish Chieftains, the O'Connor Don, O'Brien, O'Kennedy and de Burgo, to Richard II. The friary was suppressed, by the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, in 1541. Shortly after the Holy Ghost Hospital was established in the church before it moved to a new location on Cork Street in 1882. It is also known as 'The French Church' after the French Huguenots who converted the choir for protestant worship.

The ruins are comprised of a nave and chancel church, a crossing tower, a sacristy and Lady Chapel that was added at the end of the 13th century. There is a large collection of medieval graveslabs on display in the nave and chancel of the church. I have visited the friary on three occasions this past year, but was unable to gain access due to restoration work. The friary was still closed during my last trip, even though the work is finished. A key to the church can be obtained at the receptionist desk in Reginald's Tower. The Lady Chapel has been converted into a 'The King of the Vikings' VR exhibition.

Situated: In the Heart of the Viking Triangle on Greyfriars and Baileys New Street near Reginald's Tower.

Discovery Map 75: S 6099 1245. Last visit July 2018.

Longitude: 7° 6' 24" W

Latitude: 52° 15' 38" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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