Clones Abbey

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Clones Abbey
Native name
Mainistir Cluain Eois
Clones Round Tower and Graveyard.jpg
Clones Round Tower and Graveyard
LocationCounty Monaghan, Ireland
Coordinates54°10′59″N 7°14′01″W / 54.183°N 7.2337°W / 54.183; -7.2337Coordinates: 54°10′59″N 7°14′01″W / 54.183°N 7.2337°W / 54.183; -7.2337
AreaClones
Built12th century
Official nameClones
Reference no.111 & 112
Clones Abbey is located in Ireland
Clones Abbey
Location of Clones Abbey in Ireland
The "Wee Abbey"
Clones Abbey - side view
Skeuomorph of early Christian wooden structures
St. Tighernach's Tomb
Clones High Cross
This drawing from c. 1587 shows the church of the Augustinian abbey, labelled a churche, still standing with its tower and choir at the site of the graveyard, east of the round tower and west of the surviving ruin of the small Romanesque church.[1]

Clones Abbey is a ruined monastery that later became an Augustinian abbey in the twelfth century, and its main sights are ecclesiastical. The Abbey was formerly known as St. Tighernach Abbey, and was referred to locally as the "wee abbey". Parochial and monastic settlements were separated, and it seems likely that the building became the Abbey of St. Peter and Paul. In the Book of Armagh and Annals of Ulster the word Clones is referenced as "Clauin Auis" and "Cluain Auiss," respectively. As there is no word in standard dictionaries of Old Irish that give the form "auis" or "eois", Seosamh Ó Dufaigh has speculated that the word is a cognate of the welsh word for point or a tip: "awch".[2] Although, Bearnard O'Dubhthaigh disputes this theory on the grounds that the earlier form of "awch" is "afwch".[3] Folklore suggests that the monastic town was originally called "Cluin Innish" on account of it being surrounded by water.[4]

History[edit]

The Town of Clones and the Abbey were founded by St. Tigernach (anglicised St. Tierney) in the 6th century. St. Tigernach or Tierney's abbey was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The abbey was destroyed by fire in 836, 1095, and 1184. In 1207, Hugh de Lacy destroyed the abbey and town; but five years after they were rebuilt by the English, who also erected a castle here. The ruins of a 12th-century abbey can be found on Abbey Street, along with a sarcophagus with worn animal-head carvings reputed to have been built to house the remains of St. Tigernach, and a 9th-century truncated 22m-high round tower, which was originally about 75 ft high and had a conical cap;[5] and a well-preserved 10th-century high cross on the Diamond, decorated with drama-charged biblical stories such as Daniel in the lion's den, Abrahams sacrifice of Isaac, Adam and the tree and the serpent. On the reverse side, new testament scenes are illustrated. The multiplication of the loaves, the miracle at Cana, the baptism of Christ.

The Protestant reformation lead to the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII in the 16th century, and the monastic settlement in Clones was destroyed. By the 17th century the abbey was a ruin, but solitary monks continued to live in the locality up until the 18th century. An English garrison was later established within the ruins.[6][7][8]

Style[edit]

The church is Romanesque in style and is evidence of the Roman church in Clones. The round-headed window is interesting, the head of which was cut out of a single stone. On the northern wall, there is a small Celtic cross sculptured in relief on a stone.[6][7]

Monuments[edit]

Round Tower[edit]

The Round Tower can be seen from Cara Street. The horizontal lintels and small windows are signs of early masonry. The doorway lacks the Romanesque arch, that is typical of medieval Christian buildings. These attributes lead one to the conclusion that it is among the oldest of the round towers on the British Isles.[9] The tower was built to have five floors, ending in the top with a large, rectangular window. The roof of the building was undoubtedly a bencobhair; a stone, conical roof as is typical of Irish round towers. The tower itself would have reached seventy-five feet; but in its current, roofless state only reaches fify-one. There is damage to the masonry on the exterior below the door, to the right. The cracked appearance of the stones suggests heat damage. This could be from any of the numerous instances in which the monastery was razed.[10]

Abbey[edit]

The Abbey on McCurtain's street is a stone building: a limestone interior and sandstone exterior. The front of the building is the most well preserved. The ashlar masonry and Romanesque arch can easily be appreciated. A single window remains on the building. According to William Frederick Wakeman, the single window: cut out of a single stone, with a recessed moulding and dressed masonry, bears a resemblance to the windows on Clonmacnoise's McCarthy tower.[11] The most singular feature of the Abbey is easily missed. Located on the exterior wall opposite the window, is a single cut stone bearing the mark of a cross. The cross is haloed in a fashion distinctly recognisable as the style of the Irish "Celtic cross". Its function has led to speculation as it is not something seen on churches of the period elsewhere.[12]

Abbot of Clones[edit]

The Abbot was the Primus Abbas or first mitred abbot of Ireland.




















List of Notable Coarbs & Abbots[edit]

Note: From 1398 to 1435, we have an instance of the clash that frequently occurred between the papal provisor and the bishop's nominee.

List of Notable Coarbs & Abbots.[13][14]
From Until Incumbent Notes
unknown 549 Tigernach mac Coirpri [B] founder of the abbey; died in office
unknown 806 Gormgal mac Dindnotaig of the Uí Chremthainn, called abbot of Armagh and Clones in the entry for his obit in the annals[15]
unknown 929 Ceanfoile Died in office inside the abbey
unknown unknown Gilla Christ O'Macturan in 1184, was elected Bishop of Clogher
unknown 1247 Hugh Mac Conchaille abbot of Clones died[16]
unknown 1257 Mac Robias abbot of Clones died[17]
1316 1319 Gelasius alias Cornelius Ó Bánáin Elected Bishop-designate of Clogher and consecrated circa 1316; died 1319
unknown 1353 Sean ó Cairbre John O Carbry
died in office. His name appears on the outer shrine of the Domnach Airgid as coarb.
unknown 1365 Sean Mac An Eanaigh John MacAneany
received collation of the comorbania or rectory of Clones from primate Milo Sweetman's commissaries in the diocese of Clogher, this appointment was subsequently ratified by the primate himself.
[18]
1393 1398 Tiernacus Mac An Eanaigh Tierney MacAneany
was appointed to the rectory by the Bishop of Kilmore and bishop of clogher, but in 1398 the Pope claimed he held the position unlawfully.
[18]
1393 (John ó Goband) Appointed by the Pope. Did not take effect, later became Dean of Armagh in the same year[19]
1403 (Pádraig Mac Cathmhaoil) Patrick Mac Cawell
Appointed by the Pope. Did not take effect
unknown 1413 Éinrí mac Conullag Mac Mathghamhna Henry MacMahon
son of Connolly appears to have been coarb but Eneas ó Cairbre detained the rectory from him having obtained it from the ordinary.
1413 unknown Neameas O'Hanratty A canon of Clogher, should have been collated to the rectoy then vacated by the death of Henry MacMahon. He was rehabilitated in 1417 by Martin V and received a fresh appointment from Eugenius IV. In primate John Mey's (Archbishop of Armagh) register, he is alluded to as coarb in 1438.
unknown 1435 Eoin ó Cairbre died in office[20]
1477 1486 Pilib mac Séamus Mac Mathghamhna Philip MacMahon son of James
A canon chorister of Clogher, and parson of Dartry he was bound for the annates of the rectory in 1477.
[21] He was related to the Kings of Oriel.[13][18][22][23][24]
1491 1502 Séamus mac Ruaidhri Mac Mathghamhna James MacMahon son of Rory
A canon of Clogher, who bound himself for the annates in 1491. He was related to the Kings of Oriel. The editor of the Annals of Ulster regards him as being representative of the lay succession of coarbs. This is an unfortunate illustration, for he was certainly a cleric. In 1492 he, the rector of St. Tighernach's, bound himself for the annates of the archdeaconry of Armagh; and in 1502, the year of his death, he, coarb of Clones, was acting as commissary for primate. He was 90 years old when he died.
[25][26]
c.1502 1504 Giolla Pádraig Ó Connálaigh son of Henry Ua Connalaigh. The abbot of Clones was appointed Bishop-designate of Clogher, 6 March 1504; died before December 1504; also known as Patricius
unknown 1536 Maghnus Mac Mathghamhna died in office[27]

See also[edit]

List of abbeys and priories in Ireland

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip (1879). The History of the County of Monaghan. London: Pickering. p. 173.
  2. ^ Seosamh, Ó Dufaigh (31 October 2021). "Three Notes on Medieval Clones". The Clogher Record. 4: 6.
  3. ^ Ó Dufaigh, Seosamh (31 October 2021). "Further Notes on Medieval Clones". The Clogher Record. 4: 196.
  4. ^ Wakeman, William Frederick (31 October 2021). "Monastic Antiquities of Clones". The Clogher Record. 3: 35 – via JSTOR.
  5. ^ Wakeman, W. F., "On the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Cluain-Eois", The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland, Volumes 2-3, 1875, p. 330
  6. ^ a b CLONES. LibraryIreland. Retrieved on 22 March 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Clones trail brochure
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Wakeman, William Frederick (15 October 2021). "Monastic Antiquities of Clones" (PDF). The Clogher Record. 3: 28 – via JSTOR.
  10. ^ Wakeman, William Frederick (15 October 2021). "Monastic Antiquities of Clones" (PDF). The Clogher Record. 3: 29 – via JSTOR.
  11. ^ Wakeman, William Frederick (15 October 2021). "Monastic Antiquities of Clones" (PDF). The Clogher Record. 3: 31 – via JSTOR.
  12. ^ Wakeman, William Frederick (15 October 2021). "Monastic Antiquities of Clones" (PDF).. The Clogher Record. 3: 32 – via JSTOR.
  13. ^ a b "Fasti ecclesiae Hibernicae : The succession of the prelates and members of the Cathedral bodies of Ireland".
  14. ^ [1] The Coarb in the Medieval Irish Church. (Circa 1200–1550) by St. John D. Seymour Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C, Vol. 41, (1932–1934), pp. 219–231 Published by: Royal Irish Academy
  15. ^ Annals of Ulster and Annals of Inisfallen s.a. 806; A New History of Ireland, ed. D. Ó Cróinín, pp. 318, 659; see further McCone, "Clones and her neighbours in the early period"
  16. ^ Part 8 of Annals of the Four Masters
  17. ^ Part 9 of Annals of the Four Masters
  18. ^ a b c Jstor The Coarb in the Medieval Irish Church. (Circa 1200–1550) by St. John D. Seymour, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C, Vol. 41, (1932–1934), pp. 221–222 Published by: Royal Irish Academy
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ [2] the fermanagh story by Peader Livingstone
  21. ^ [3] The Annals of Ulster (Author: [unknown]) p. 311
  22. ^ [4] Annals of the Four Masters note: Rudhraighe mac Ardghail Moir Mheg Mathgamhna tighearna Oirghiall do écc. & a mhac Aedh Ruadh mac Rudhraighe do oirdneadh ina ionad la h-Ua Néill.
  23. ^ [5] Annals of the Four Masters (Author: [unknown]) note:Philip, son of the Coarb (i.e. James, son of Rury, son of Ardgal) Mac Mahon, a canon chorister at Clogher, Coarb of Clones, Parson of Dartry, &c., died.
  24. ^ [Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/27695450] Clogherici A Dictionary of the Catholic Clergy of the Diocese of Clogher (1535–1835) (Continued) by Rev. Padraig Ó Gallachair, Clogher Record, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1957), pp. 170–191, Published by: Clogher Historical Society
  25. ^ [6] The Coarb in the Medieval Irish Church. (Circa 1200–1550) by St. John D. Seymour, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C, Vol. 41, (1932–1934), pp. 219–231 Published by: Royal Irish Academy
  26. ^ [7] Annuals of the 4 masters
  27. ^ Annals of Ulster page 606-year 1536

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • McCone, Kim (1984). "Clones and her neighbours in the early period: hints from some Airgialla saints' Lives". Clogher Record. 11 (3): 305–25. doi:10.2307/27695892. JSTOR 27695892.