Athassel Priory is a ruined monastic site on the western bank of the River Suir 8 km southwest of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland.
The Athassel Priory of St. Edmund the King was a foundation of the Augustinian Canons Regular under the patronage of Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster who was buried there in 1271. The Augustinians were not centralised to the same degree as that of the Cistercians. Thus we have few records of their administration and nothing survives of their institution. At the time of Athassel's founding the Augustinian Canons were a significant presence in Ireland, with over one hundred and twenty houses. The most notable of these in modern Ireland is Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The abbey was the burial place of Richard Og de Burgh, second Earl of Ulster in 1326. The priory remained in use until the dissolution of Monasteries and the lands were later granted to Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond.
The priory is arrived at by a bridge and gate-lodge. Here the visitor can begin to note patterns that will be discerned throughout the site. The reconstruction and modification of the buildings is evident, often involving their ‘down-sizing’ to meet the needs of a smaller community. Nothing remains of the town that once surrounded the priory. The main aisle of the Priory was used in recent centuries as a burial ground. The now blocked up rood screen can be seen over the doorway in the centre. The walls are full of put-log holes, now ideal nest sites for dozens of jackdaws. These holes were used in construction to affix scaffolding-timbers.
- Leask, Irish Churches & Monastic Buildings, Vol.2
- McCraith, Athassel Priory and its Patrons, The New Ireland Review, 1910
- Athassel Abbey, The Commissioners of Public Works
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