List of monastic houses in County Kilkenny

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The smaller establishments such as monastic cells and notable monastic granges (particularly those with resident monks) and camerae of the military orders of monks (Knights Templars and Knights Hospitallers) are included. The numerous monastic hospitals per se are not included here unless at some time the foundation had, or was purported to have, the status or function of an abbey, priory, or preceptory/commandery.


Communities/provenance: shows the status and communities existing at each establishment, together with such dates as have been established as well as the fate of the establishment after dissolution, and the current status of the site.

Formal name or dedication: shows the formal name of the establishment or the person in whose name the church is dedicated, where known.

Alternative names: some of the establishments have had alternative names over the course of time. In order to assist in text-searching such alternatives in name or spelling have been provided.

Abbreviations and Key[edit]

The sites listed are ruins or fragmentary remains unless indicated thus:
* current monastic function
+ current non-monastic ecclesiastic function
^ current non-ecclesiastic function
= remains incorporated into later structure
# no identifiable trace of the monastic foundation remains
~ exact site of monastic foundation unknown
ø possibly no such monastic foundation at location
¤ no such monastic foundation
identification ambiguous or confused

Locations with names in italics indicate probable duplication (misidentification with another location) or non-existent foundations (either erroneous reference or proposed foundation never implemented).

Trusteeship denoted as follows:
NIEA Scheduled Monument (NI)
NM National Monument (ROI)
C.I. Church of Ireland
R.C. Roman Catholic Church

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

Foundation Image Communities & Provenance Formal Name or Dedication
& Alternative Names
OnLine References & Location
Achardensis Friary ø~ supposed Augustinian Friars, possibly in the barony of Ossory location unknown Achiardensis
Aghaviller Monastery Aghaviller ruined church and round tower, Newmarket, Co. Kilkenny - - 206920.jpg early monastic site, patronised by St Brendan of Birr Achad-biroir [1]
52°27′56″N 7°16′05″W / 52.465539°N 7.268127°W / 52.465539; -7.268127 (Aghaviller Monastery)
Anothmolt Abbey Cistercian monks — from Stanley, Wiltshire
(community founded at Loughmerans c.1202);
transferred here c.1204;
dissolved c.1207, transferred to new site at Graiguenamanagh
Ballylarkin Abbey ø asserted monastic site, order unknown
founded 13th century?; 'abbey';[notes 1] ruins of a parish church; (NM)
Calime in Leinster ~≈? Augustinian Friars, probably a duplication of Callan possibly Callan
Callan Priory Augustinian Canons Regular
founded c.1215
'Callan Abbey'
Callan Augustinian Friary Callanaugustinianfriary.jpg Augustinian Friars
founded 1461 (1468-9) by James (buried here), son of Edmund Butler (son of Sir Richard Butler) who, with his wife, petitioned the Pope who instructed the Abbot of Ferns to instigate the foundation;
Observant Augustinian Canons Regular
refounded 1472;
ruinous by 1540;
dissolved 1540, surrendered by Prior William O'Fogarty;
held by the executors of the estate of the late Earl of Ormond 1548; granted to Thomas, Earl of Ormond 1557-8 with friars in occupancy periodically
52°32′45″N 7°23′14″W / 52.54584628°N 7.38711745°W / 52.54584628; -7.38711745 (Callan Augustinian Friary)
Callan Friary Augustinian Friars
founded 1766
Clonamery Monastery early monastic site St Bronndan 52°28′31″N 7°02′18″W / 52.475409°N 7.038245°W / 52.475409; -7.038245 (Clonamery Monastery)
Clonfert Kerpan Abbey ~ early monastic site, founded 503
Clonmore Monastery early monastic site, granted to St Mochoemoc (Pulcherius) Cluain-or, in Ossory 52°18′20″N 7°17′20″W / 52.305519°N 7.288852°W / 52.305519; -7.288852 (Clonmore Monastery)
Columbkille Monastery early monastic site, founded 6th century by St Colmcille Kilgriffin 52°32′30″N 7°07′56″W / 52.541702°N 7.132187°W / 52.541702; -7.132187 (Columbkille Monastery)
Duiske Abbey +, Graiguenamanagh Graiguenamanach Choir Window SE 1997 08 27.jpg Cistercian monks — from Stanley, Wiltshire
(community founded at Loughmerans c.1202)
transferred here from Annamult c.1207, built by William the elder, Earl of Pembroke;
dissolved 1536;
part of church is in R.C. ecclesiastical use; (NM)
Vallis S. Salvatoris
52°32′28″N 6°57′17″W / 52.541153°N 6.954664°W / 52.541153; -6.954664 (Duiske Abbey)
Drumdelig Friary Thornback Graveyard - - 487667.jpg Dominican Friars[notes 2]
novices house, or Franciscan Friars[notes 3] (the latter had land near Dromdelygen 1541)
52°41′18″N 7°17′14″W / 52.688440°N 7.287244°W / 52.688440; -7.287244 (Drumdelig Friary)
Ennisnag Monastery # C.I. early monastic site, founded c. 6th century, by Manchan;
Prebend Church, founded 1291 by papal authority
suppressed c. 16th century; ruins
new Protestant church, St. Peters, founded 19th century.
Saint Manchan,
Saint Máedóc
52°33′12″N 7°14′08″W / 52.553214°N 7.2355099°W / 52.553214; -7.2355099 (Ennisnag)
Fertagh Priory Fertagh Round Tower Limerick March 2008.JPG early monastic site, founded 5th century by St Ciaran of Seirkieran (St Keiran);
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded before 1251 by the English family of Blanchfield;
destroyed and ruinous 1421;
rebuilt 1455 by Thady Megirid, a canon of Inchmacnerin;
dissolved 1540;
priory church in parochial use by 6 January 1541;
occupied by Nicholas Cowlye;
held by Sir Edward Butler 1566;
reverted to James Butler, Jr 1566-7;-1780;
now part of a handball alley
St Keirman

52°46′43″N 7°32′39″W / 52.778490°N 7.544281°W / 52.778490; -7.544281 (Fertagh Priory)
Fiddown Monastery early monastic site, founded before late 6th century;
coarbs at least until 1073;
church demolished 1870
52°19′33″N 7°18′10″W / 52.325901°N 7.302915°W / 52.325901; -7.302915 (Fiddown Monastery)
Freshford Monastery + IMG StLachFford1824.jpg early monastic site, founded 655-7 by St Lachtain mac Torben, Abbot of Achaid-Ut;
probably continuing after 1111;
site currently occupied by 17th-century St Lachtain's parochial church incorporating 12th century doorway

52°43′58″N 7°23′52″W / 52.732698°N 7.397766°W / 52.732698; -7.397766 (Freshford Monastery)
Gowran Camera Knights Templar
founded before 1253;
dissolved 1308, church passed to the Hospitallers
52°37′56″N 7°03′34″W / 52.632360°N 7.059317°W / 52.632360; -7.059317 (Gowran Camera)
St. Mary's Collegiate Church Gowran St. Mary's Collegiate Church Gowran.jpg Collegiate Church
Founded before 1225, Contains a Christianised Ogham Stone from 3rd/4thc. Also the oldest inscribed effigy in Ireland of Ralph, portrieve of Gowran in 1218. The effigy is dated 19 March 1253. The church also contains tombs and effigies of the Butlers of Ormonde. Experts believe that St. Mary's Church was built on the site of an earlier monastery.
dissolved 1308, church passed to the Hospitallers
52°37′56″N 7°03′34″W / 52.632360°N 7.059317°W / 52.632360; -7.059317 (Gowran Camera)
Inistioge Abbey =+ early monastic site, possibly founded 6th century, purportedly by St Colmcille;
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded c.1206 by Thomas Fitz Anthony;
dissolved 1540;
church in parochial use by 8 January 1541;
occupied by Richard Butler;
granted to Sir Edmond Butler 1566;
incorporated into current C.I. parish church
St Mary and St Colmcille
St Columba
52°29′21″N 7°03′56″W / 52.489203°N 7.065534°W / 52.489203; -7.065534 (Inistioge Abbey)
Jerpoint Abbey Jerpoint Abbey E 1997 08 28.jpg probably Benedictine monks
founded 1158 (1166–70);
Cistercian monks — from Baltinglass
founded 1180, grant of church confirmed by charter of John, Lord of Ireland, Earl of Morton c.1185;
dissolved 1540; church in parochial use by 7 January 1541; granted to Thomas, Earl of Ormond and Ossory 1558; (NM). Thomastown R.C. church contains the high altar from the abbey
de Geriponte
52°30′39″N 7°09′29″W / 52.51093°N 7.15798°W / 52.51093; -7.15798 (Jerpoint Abbey)
Jerpoint Nunnery Cistercian(?) nuns
foundation unknown
adjacent to the monks' abbey;
dissolved 1228, removal ordered by Stephen of Lexington
52°30′37″N 7°09′26″W / 52.51037°N 7.1572°W / 52.51037; -7.1572 (Jerpoint Nunnery (approx.)) (approx)
Kells Priory KellsPriory.jpg early monastic site, founded by St Ciaran of Seirkieran;
secular college
founded 1183 by Geoffrey fitz Robert, confirmed by Felix Ua Duib Sláin, Bishop of Ossory;
Augustinian Canons Regular — from Bodmin, Cornwall
founded 1193 by Geoffrey fitz Robert;
burnt by William de Bermingham 1252;
dissolved 1540, surrendered by Nicholas Tobin 18 March, or Philip Howleghan, 8 March;
occupied by James, Earl of Ormond;
church in parochial use by 31 January 1541; part leased to Sir Henry Ratcliff 1576; (NM)
St Mary
Kells in Ossory;
52°32′20″N 7°16′00″W / 52.5388513°N 7.26661682°W / 52.5388513; -7.26661682 (Kells Priory)
Kilcolumb Monastery early monastic site, founded 6th century by St Colmcille;
probably continuing after 1161
Cell-colum 52°19′39″N 7°02′02″W / 52.327437°N 7.033943°W / 52.327437; -7.033943 (Kilcolumb Monastery)
Kilfane Monastery Kilfarne Church Thomastown Co Kilkenny Ireland 2014.JPG early monastic site, purported 'abbey' founded by St Phian Cell-phaain
Kilferagh Monastery early monastic site, purportedly founded by St Fiachrius;
church in the monastery of Rathen
52°37′08″N 7°10′46″W / 52.618879°N 7.179319°W / 52.618879; -7.179319 (Kilferagh Monastery)
Kilkenny Augustinian Friary Augustinian Friars
"former canons' monastery"[notes 4]
Kilkenny Black Abbey + Kilkenny Black Abbey SE 2007 08 29.jpg Dominican Friars
founded 1225 by William Marshal the younger, Earl of Pembroke (purportedly buried here, but actually at Temple Church, London);
dissolved 1540; granted to the Sovereign and commonality of Kilkenny 1543; friars apparently remained in the vicinity
reoccupied during the right of Queen Mary;
used as a courthouse;
church restored 1970s; now in parochial use
Holy Trinity Priory 52°39′15″N 7°15′28″W / 52.654167°N 7.257778°W / 52.654167; -7.257778 (Kilkenny Black Abbey)
Kilkenny Carmelite Friary listed as not restored c.1737[notes 5]
Kilkenny Cathedral Monastery + KilkennyCathedral.jpg early monastic site, founded before 599/600 by St Canice;
episcopal diocesan cathedral 1111; extant
52°39′15″N 7°15′27″W / 52.654161°N 7.257505°W / 52.654161; -7.257505 (Kilkenny Cathedral Monastery)
Kilkenny Grey Friary Kilkenny Friary as seen from the Round Tower 2007 08 28.jpg Franciscan Friars Minor, Conventual
founded 1232-40;
dissolved 1540; granted to the Sovereign and the commonality of Kilkenny 1543;
friars expelled by John Bale c.1550;
returned 1553;
expelled 1559, abandoned;
Observant Franciscan Friars
reformed 1609;
convent refounded 1612;
refounded 1640
The Abbey Church of Saint Francis, Kilkenny 52°39′21″N 7°15′13″W / 52.655906°N 7.253648°W / 52.655906; -7.253648 (Kilkenny Grey Friary)
Kilkenny Hospitallers Knights Hospitaller
"liberum hospicum" 1335;
"frankehouse" 1541
Kilkenny Hospital Knights of St Thomas of Acon
founded before 1219 by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, confirmed to the knights and brothers by charter of Gilbert Marshall, Earl of Pembroke
The Hospital of Saint John the Baptist
Kilkenny, St John's Priory StJohnPrioryKilkenny.jpg hospital, founded c.1202 by William Marshal the elder, Earl of Pembroke
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1211;
dissolved 1540, surrendered by Richard Cantwell, 19 March;
in parochial use by 4 January 1541; granted to the Mayor and citizens of Kilkenny
Hospital of St John the Evangelist
The Priory Church of Saint John, Kilkenny
St John's Priory without the walls;
St John the Baptist
Kilkenny Nunnery
Kilkieran Monastery early monastic site, high crosses Cell-cainnig;

52°23′52″N 7°22′51″W / 52.397791°N 7.380731°W / 52.397791; -7.380731 (Kilkieran Monastery)
Killaloe Monastery early monastic site, founded c.540 by St Mochua Cell-molua 52°34′55″N 7°26′26″W / 52.581862°N 7.440555°W / 52.581862; -7.440555 (Killaloe Monastery (approx.)) (approx)
Killamery Monastery early monastic site, possibly founded c.632 by St Gobhan;
probably not continuing after 10th century
52°30′44″N 7°25′48″W / 52.512147°N 7.430019°W / 52.512147; -7.430019 (Killamery Monastery (approx.)) (approx)
Killenny Abbey possible Benedictine monks
founded 1162-5, site granted by Dermot O'Ryan, liegeman of Dermot Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, to Felix Ua Duib Sláin, Abbot of Ossory, confirmed by Dermot;
Cistercian monks — from Jerpoint
founded 1184;
united to Graiguenamanagh 22 July 1227, confirmed by Stephen of Lexington
grange of Graiguenamanagh;
granted to Charles Cavenagh, Abbot of Graiguenamanagh for 61 years 10 June 1525;
dissolved 1540, remaining in possession of Cavenagh at least until 1548, unknown whether monks remained in occupation
St Mary and St Benedict
Vallis Dei;
Old Abbey
Kilmanagh Monastery early monastic site, founded before 563? by St Natalis (or Notan);
probably not continuing after 10th century
Cell-na-manach 52°37′16″N 7°25′42″W / 52.621061°N 7.428195°W / 52.621061; -7.428195 (Kilmanagh Monastery (?)) (?)
Kilree Monastery KilreeMonastery.jpg early monastic site, reputedly founded by St Brigid;
apparently erroneous reference to foundation of an abbey 1176
Cell-righ [8][9]

52°31′05″N 7°16′07″W / 52.518147°N 7.268540°W / 52.518147; -7.268540 (Kilree Monastery)
Knocktopher Friary ^ Carmelite Friars
founded 1356 by James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond for the friars already in the town;
dissolved before c.1541; granted to Margaret, Countess of Ormond;
friars returned 17th century;
expelled before 1654;
friars returned 1735; convent in existence 1737; remains incorporated into private house, currently in use as a guest house named 'Knocktopher Abbey'
St Mary
The Friary of St Saviour[notes 6]

52°28′59″N 7°13′00″W / 52.482931°N 7.216650°W / 52.482931; -7.216650 (Knocktopher Friary)
Knocktopher Carmelite Friary * Carmelite Friars
returned 1735; convent in existence 1737; new church consecrated 1843; extant

52°28′57″N 7°12′52″W / 52.482395°N 7.214327°W / 52.482395; -7.214327 (Knocktopher Carmelite Friary)
Loghmere Abbey Cistercian monks — from Stanley, Wiltshire
founded c.1202/4;
transferred to Anothmolt before 1207
Loughmerans Abbey 52°40′58″N 7°15′41″W / 52.682913°N 7.261276°W / 52.682913; -7.261276 (Loughmere Abbey (approx.)) (approx)
Ossarge Abbey Benedictine monks
dependent on Wurzburg;
founded before 1148? (before 1162-5);
if Kilkenny, apparently transferred to Jerpoint in, or soon after, 1165;
dissolved 1541
possibly Jerpoint;
possibly Kilkenny
Rosbercon Abbey Dominican friars
founded 1267, purportedly by the Grace family or the Walsh family;
dissolved 1539, surrendered by Prior Matthew Flemynge 20 June
St Mary;
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Shankill Monastery "site of Abbey"[notes 7] Seincheall 52°41′09″N 7°03′31″W / 52.685956°N 7.058544°W / 52.685956; -7.058544 (Shankill Monastery (approx.)) (approx)
Tibberaghny Monastery early monastic site, founded 6th century, patronised by St Mo-Dhomnog of Lann Beachaire Tipra-fachtnai 52°20′46″N 7°21′33″W / 52.346115°N 7.359188°W / 52.346115; -7.359188 (Tibberaghny Monastery (approx.)) (approx)
Tiscoffin Monastery early monastic site, 'cella' founded 6th century by St Scuithin (Scuithin) Tech-scruithin;
52°40′42″N 7°06′01″W / 52.678464°N 7.100258°W / 52.678464; -7.100258 (Tiscoffin Monastery (approx.)) (approx)
Tullaherin Monastery early monastic site, reputedly founded by St Cainnnech;
round tower on site

52°34′44″N 7°07′41″W / 52.578811°N 7.128081°W / 52.578811; -7.128081 (Tullaherin Monastery)
Tullamaine Monastery early monastic site;
plundered 1026
Ullard Monastery Ullard Church 1997 08 28.jpg early monastic site, founded before 670 by St Fiachra
high cross (9th c.) and ruined church (12th c.)

52°34′49″N 6°55′59″W / 52.580278°N 6.933056°W / 52.580278; -6.933056 (Ullard Monastery)
Woolengrange ~ Cistercian monks
grange of Jerpoint;
leased out 1541

Map link to lists of monastic houses in Ireland by county[edit]

List of monastic houses in County KerryList of monastic houses in County AntrimList of monastic houses in County LondonderryList of monastic houses in County DownList of monastic houses in County ArmaghList of monastic houses in County LouthList of monastic houses in County TyroneList of monastic houses in County WexfordList of monastic houses in County DublinList of monastic houses in County WicklowList of monastic houses in County MonaghanList of monastic houses in County DonegalList of monastic houses in County FermanaghList of monastic houses in County WaterfordList of monastic houses in County CorkList of monastic houses in County LimerickList of monastic houses in County ClareList of monastic houses in County CarlowList of monastic houses in County KilkennyList of monastic houses in County LaoisList of monastic houses in County TipperaryList of monastic houses in County MeathList of monastic houses in County KildareList of monastic houses in County CavanList of monastic houses in County LeitrimList of monastic houses in County SligoList of monastic houses in County RoscommonList of monastic houses in County GalwayList of monastic houses in County LongfordList of monastic houses in County WestmeathList of monastic houses in County OffalyList of monastic houses in County MayoList of monastic houses in County MayoA map of Ireland showing traditional county borders and names with Northern Ireland counties colored tan, all other counties colored green
Click on a county to go to the corresponding article


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey
  2. ^ Tomas de Burgo, Hibernica Dominicana, 1762 edition, p.206, no.iv, repeated by Mervyn Archdall, Monasticon Hibernicum, 1786, p.373
  3. ^ W. Carrigan, History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, 1905 iii. p.195
  4. ^ Louis Augustin Alemand, Monasticum Hibernicum, translated and edited by J. Stevens, 1722, pp.309,312,317
  5. ^ Arch. Ord. Rome (Carmelite Order), Manuscripts II, C.O. II, 26, p.13 (compiled 1739-59)
  6. ^ Lord Killanin & M. V. Duignan, Shell Guide to Ireland, 1962, (new edition 1967), pp.343-4
  7. ^ Ordnance Survey


  1. ^ "Aghaviller Church & Round Tower". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  2. ^ Site details: Fertagh Priory - Monastic Ireland - A Comprehensive Database of Sites and Sources
  3. ^ Grangefertagh Round Tower & Church
  4. ^ Freshford Church
  5. ^ Kilkieran High Cross | Attractions | Churches, Abbeys and Monasteries | All Ireland | Republic of Ireland | Kilkenny | Piltown | Discover Ireland
  6. ^ High Cross Kilkieran
  7. ^ Prehistoric and Early Ireland @ - Kilkieran High Cross, County Kilkenny
  8. ^ Kilree Irish Round Tower
  9. ^ Kilree High Cross
  10. ^ a b Carmelite Friary, Knocktopher & Parish of Ballyhale
  11. ^ Tullaherin Round Tower
  12. ^ Ullard Monastic Site

See also[edit]