Mourne Abbey

The abbey of the great bog

Mourne abbey was built in c.1199 by the Knights Templars. It is believed the abbey was built on land donated to them by the Cogans, an anglo-norman family who built the nearby Castle Barrett. They also founded Ballynamona Town. The name Mourne Abbey is derived from the Irish name - Mainistir na Móna Móire (the abbey of the Great Bog). The preceptory was protected by walled enclosure with three fortified towers. The templars were dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1312 and the estate was granted to the Knights Hospitallers. After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1541, the abbey was granted to the MacCarthys.

The ruins of the abbey are very disappointing, very little remains of the 43 metre long church. It had a 30 metre long nave with a chancel, divided by a wall, at the east end. Nothing remains of the east and west gables The image above was taken from the nave looking east towards the chancel. Sections of the enclosure walls still survive, the ground floor, and part of the first floor, survive from a square tower to the southwest of the church. This area is heavily overgrown.

Situated: From Mallow head south on the N72. After 5.5 kilometres take a right turn (signed Mourne Abbey). From here follow the signs for a further 2 kilometres.

Discovery Map 80: W 5705 9229. Last visit June 2018.

Longitude: 8° 37' 36" W

Latitude: 52° 4' 52" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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