List of monastic houses in County Louth

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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

Foundation Image Communities & Provenance Formal Name or Dedication
& Alternative Names
OnLine References & Location
Ardee Priory Hospital Crutched Friars, brethren and sisters
founded c.1207 by Roger Pipard;
hospital confirmed 1211 by Eugene, Archbishop of Armagh;
dissolved 1539, surrendered 6 December 1539 by Prior George Dowdall; granted to George Dowdall (by then Archbishop of Armagh) for life 1544 by Queen Mary;
granted to Edward Moore 1579
St John the Baptist
de Atrio Dei
53°51′13″N 6°32′12″W / 53.853495°N 6.536747°W / 53.853495; -6.536747 (Ardee Priory Hospital)
Ardee White Friars Carmelite Friars
founded after 1272 (during the reign of Edward I) by Ralph Pipard
rebuilt by the townsmen by 1302, land etc granted by John Littleboy and two others;
church burnt down 1315 by the followers of Edward the Bruce whilst filled with men, women and children;
dissolved 1539; demolished by the commissioners by 30 September 1540 and the materials sold;
friars subsequently returned to Ardee
Priory of St Mary of Mount Carmel of Athirde [1][2][3]

53°51′15″N 6°32′22″W / 53.854219°N 6.539440°W / 53.854219; -6.539440 (Ardee White Friars (approx.)) (approx)
Ardee Preceptory ~ Knights Hospitaller[notes 1]
Ardpatrick Monastery early monastic site, founded 5th century by St Patrick, purportedly a leper hospital, more likely a hospital for the sick[notes 2]
Ballymascanlan Priory Cistercian monks
apparently intended daughter of Mellifont, 1232-3, on lands granted by Hugh de Lacy;
project abandoned 1236, probably deemed too close to Newry
Carlingford Priory Dominican Friars
founded 1305 or 1307 by Richard de Burgo, Earl (Rufus) of Ulster;[notes 3]
dissolved before 1541;
disputed between Dominican Friars and Franciscan Friars 1670s
Dominican Friars to 18th century,
transferred to Dundalk
St Malachy 54°02′17″N 6°11′05″W / 54.038176°N 6.184627°W / 54.038176; -6.184627 (Carlingford Priory)
Cluain-brain Monastery early monastic site, founded 5th century by St Patrick Cluain-braoin;
Ernatiensis (Ernaide)[notes 4]
Clonkeen Monastery ~ early monastic site, probably founded by St ColmanCule;
also suggested to have been located in County Laois[notes 5]
Clonmore Monastery early monastic site Cluain-mor-fer-n-arda
Drogheda Friary# Franciscan Friars Minor, Conventual
founded c.1240-45, possibly by the townsmen or Lord Darcy de Platina (Platten), or by the Plunket family, or Lord Ralph Pippard;
Observant Franciscan Friars
reformed not later than 1506 — possibly initially unsuccessfully;
reformed 1518;
dissolved 1540, surrendered by Richard MOlane, the guardian, 20 March 1540, granted to Richard Aylmer c.1545;
friars possibly in occupation until c.1546, abandoned until a new house was erected 1610
Drogheda Priory Hospital — St Mary de Urso Crutched Friars
founded c.1206 by Ursus de Suamel as a hospital for the poor and infirm, initially under a warden, possibly not under the Cruciferi until later;[notes 6]
dissolved 1540; granted to the mayor etc of Drogheda 1556
St Mary de Urso
St Mary d'Urso Abbey;
The Old Abbey

53°42′55″N 6°21′23″W / 53.7153934°N 6.3563365°W / 53.7153934; -6.3563365 (St. Mary's Friary, Drogheda)
Drogheda Priory Hospital — St Laurence Crutched Friars
founded c.1202-1203 by the mayor of Drogheda, lepers transferred from St Mary Magdalen hospital c.1202;
dissolved 1540; granted to the Mayor etc of Drogheda 1556
St Laurence the Martyr
Drogheda Priory Hospital — St John the Baptist Crutched Friars
founded before 1216 (during the reign of King John), possibly by Walter de Lacy;
dissolved 1539, surrendered 26 July 1539; granted to James Sedgrave before 1554 (during the reign of Edward VI)
St John Baptist
Drogheda — St Laurence's Franciscan Friary ^ Franciscan Friars
founded 1840;
dissolved 2000; granted to the Corporation of Drogheda (now Drogheda Borough Council);
currently in use as an art gallery, Highlanes Gallery
St Laurence [5]

53°42′55″N 6°20′55″W / 53.7152081°N 6.3485309°W / 53.7152081; -6.3485309 (Drogheda — St Laurence's Franciscan Friary)
Drogheda White Friars Carmelite Friars
founded after 1272 (during the reign of Edward I) by inhabitants of the English colony;
dissolved c.1539; demolished by 11 October 1540;
farmed out 1548;
friars returned to the town a few years before 1642; convent not recorded as being in existence 1739-59;
church rebuilt 1807
St Mary 53°42′38″N 6°20′50″W / 53.710431°N 6.347244°W / 53.710431; -6.347244 (Drogheda White Friars)
Drogheda Black Friars Dominican Friars
founded 1224 by Luke Netterville, Archbishop of Armagh, purportedly buried here;
Regular Observant Dominican Friars
reformed 1484;
dissolved 1540, surrendered by Prior Peter Lewis, 20 March 1540 by which time the church and most of dorter were ruinous
St Mary Magdalene [6]

53°43′05″N 6°21′03″W / 53.7181775°N 6.350956°W / 53.7181775; -6.350956 (St Mary Magdalene Friary, Drogheda)
Drogheda Abbey? Benedictine monks
founded before 1171, confirmed 1188;;
dissolved after 1238, united with Mellifont between 1238 and 1329
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Drogheda Augustinian Friary * Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1866; extant
St Augustine [7]

53°42′52″N 6°20′58″W / 53.7145367°N 6.3493248°W / 53.7145367; -6.3493248 (Drogheda Augustinian Friary)
Drogheda Augustinian Priory Augustinian Canons Regular
founded c.1188;
dependent on Llanthony, confirmed 1188 and c.1207;
quasi-collegiate before 1230;
dissolved c.1549?
St Peter

Drogheda Nunnery
Drogheda Preceptory? Knights Templar
tenements probably a frankhouse
Dromin Monastery early monastic site, possibly founded by St Findian Druim-fioinnl;
53°50′40″N 6°26′08″W / 53.844367°N 6.435523°W / 53.844367; -6.435523 (Dromin Monastery)
Dromiskin Monastery early monastic site founded 5th century by St Patrick St Lugaid
St Rónán mac Beraig

53°55′19″N 6°23′52″W / 53.921999°N 6.397798°W / 53.921999; -6.397798 (Dromiskin Monastery)
Drumcar Monastery early monastic site, founded by St Fintan;
possibly not continuing after 11th century
53°51′33″N 6°22′38″W / 53.859059°N 6.377301°W / 53.859059; -6.377301 (Drumcar Monastery)
Drumshallon Priory Cell purported early monastic site[notes 7]
Augustinian Canons RegularArroasian
dependent on Holy Trinity, Dublin;
founded c.1202;
suppressed by Albert, Archbishop of Armagh between 1240 and 1244, the church becoming parochial;
confirmed to Holy Trinity, Dublin 1244;
dissolved after 1262
St Mary
Druim salen;
53°47′26″N 6°20′29″W / 53.7904195°N 6.3412625°W / 53.7904195; -6.3412625 (Drumshallon Priory Cell)
Dundalk Priory Hospital possible hospital founded 1160, possibly granted to a de Verdon before 1189;
Crutched Friars, brethren and sisters
founded before 1189? (during the reign of King John) by Nicholas de Verdon, or (at the end of the reign of Henry II) by Bertram de Verdon;
dissolved1539, surrendered by Prior Patrick Galtrym, with the consent of the convent, 23 November 1539 (or 23 November 1540);
held by Henry Draycott during the reign of Queen Mary until surrendered it 12 September 1557
St Leonard
Dundalk Franciscan Friary Franciscan Friars Minor, Conventual
founded before 1246 (during the reign of Henry III) by John de Verdon, or his mother Rohesa de Verdon, wife of Theobald Butler;
dissolved c.1540; demolished by Lord Grey, the king's deputy by 6 October 1540; granted to James Brandon 1543;
friars' community apparently remained in the vicinity
Observant Franciscan Friars
refounded 1556;
dissolved 1563, destroyed and friars expelled by the Protestants 1563
new friary built 1626 (see immediately below)

54°00′21″N 6°23′51″W / 54.0059099°N 6.3973729°W / 54.0059099; -6.3973729 (Dundalk Franciscan Friary)
Dundalk Franciscan Friary Observant Franciscan Friars
founded 1626 — on finding establishment of Carmelites the Franciscans petitioned for prior rights, upheld by inquiry 1633, ratified by Rome 1638
Dundalk Carmelite Friars Carmelite Friars
founded before 1626;
dissolved, Franciscan Friars' petition for prior rights upheld 1633
Dunleer Monastery early monastic site, founded 6th or 7th century by St Forodran;
raided on several occasions by Norsemen and by others;
burnt 1148
Ernaide Monastery ~≈ early monastic site, oratory?, possibly located in County Louth Ernaensis;
Faughart Monastery early monastic site, nuns, founded by St Darerca (Moninne) Fochard;
54°03′05″N 6°23′03″W / 54.0514928°N 6.3840625°W / 54.0514928; -6.3840625 (Faughart Monastery)
Faughart Monastery? ø purported early monastic site, monks[notes 8]
Kellystown Priory Augustinian nunsArroasian — from Termonfeckin
founded after 1507;
dissolved c.1517, nuns returned to Termonfeckin;
Kilsaran Preceptory Knights Templar
founded 12th century by Matilda de Lacy;
dissolved 1308-10; granged to Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster;
Knights Hospitaller
founded after 1314, probably surrendered to the Hospitallers by Richard de Burgo
dissolved after 1515;
held by Sir Oliver Plunkett by 1541;
granted to Sir Thomas Plunkett, Lord of Louth 1570; apparently subsequently passed to the Bellew family
Cell-sarain [11][12]

53°53′32″N 6°24′11″W / 53.8921047°N 6.4029479°W / 53.8921047; -6.4029479 (Kilsaran Preceptory)
Knock Abbey Augustinian Canons RegularArroasian
founded before 1148 Donough O'Carroll, King of Oriel and Edan O'Kelly (later, bishop of Clogher);
church consecrated 1148;
dissolved 1539; granted to Sir James Gernon of Killencowle, who surrendered it 1558
St Peter and St Paul
Linns Monastery early monastic site, founded before 700 by Colman (Mocholmoc)
captured by the Norsemen 841, who built a fortress at the site;
(some references mistake Linns for Magheralin, County Down)
Louth Priory early monastic site, founded 5th century, possibly by St Patrick for St Mochta, a Briton;
frequently plundered and destroyed by Norsemen and by others;
Edan O'Kelly, Bishop of Oriel, translated his see from Clogher to Louth, monastery elevated to cathedral status;
Augustinian Canons Regular
founded 1140-8;
burnt 1148;
Augustinian Canons RegularArroasian
refounded 1148 by Donough O'Carroll, King of Oriel, and Edan O'Kelly; (probably remained Arroasian until 13th century);
burnt 1152;
burnt 1160;
burnt and laid waste 1166;
see translated to Clogherc.1192;
Augustinian Canons Regular
13th century?;
dissolved 1539, surrendered by Prior John Wylley (Welle) 20 November 1539; granted to Oliver Plunkett, Baron of Louth 1541; (NM)
St Mary
53°57′12″N 6°32′38″W / 53.9534196°N 6.5439408°W / 53.9534196; -6.5439408 (Louth Priory)
Louth Abbey Dominican Friars 53°57′12″N 6°32′39″W / 53.953212°N 6.544152°W / 53.953212; -6.544152 (Louth Abbey)
Mellifont Abbey Cistercian monks
founded 1142, site selected by St Malachy, grtanted by Donough O'Carroll, King of Oriel (buried here);
church consecrated 1157dissolved 1539, surrendered 23 July 1539 by Abbot Richard Contour;
converted into a house 1556;
occupied by Edward More 1566; (NM)
Old Mellifont Abbey;
Fons Mellis;
53°44′32″N 6°27′59″W / 53.742198°N 6.466291°W / 53.742198; -6.466291 (Mellifont Abbey)
Mellifont Nunnery Cistercian? nuns
foundation and status unknown;
dissolved c.1228
Monasterboice Abbey early monastic site, monks
founded before 523 (or before 519) by St Buite;
plundered 970 by Domnall, King of Ireland;
Benedictine monks?
10th century — Danish converts
53°46′39″N 6°25′04″W / 53.7776053°N 6.417667°W / 53.7776053; -6.417667 (Monasterboice Abbey)
Monasterboice Nunnery early monastic site, nuns
founded before 523 (or before 519) by St Buite, separate from the monks site
Roosky Priory Knights Templar?
possible preceptory — property here owned by the knights
The Priory
Templetown Camera Knights Templar
founded late 12th century, manor granted by Matilda de Lacy;
dissolved 1308-11;
Knights Hospitaller
apparently managed by Kilsaran Preceptory, supra
dissolved after 1515?
Rosmakea (to the south of Dundalk) - Franciscan Friars here for a time
Termonfeckin Abbey early monastic site, founded 7th century (665?) by St Feching of Fore;
plundered 1025;
Augustinian Canons RegularArroasian, possible double-monastery with nuns
refounded c.1144, probably by Donchad (or Donough) O'Carroll, King of Oriel, at the behest of St Malachy and Bishop Edan O'Kelly;
dissolved before 1195, church of St Fechin in parochial use, conventual church dedicated to St Mary;
Augustinian nunsArroasian
before 1195
dependent on Odder;
refounded c.1383?
dissolved 1539, surrendered by Mary Hubbard, Abbess;
leased to Catherine Bruton 1578
St Mary [14]

53°45′31″N 6°16′10″W / 53.7584887°N 6.2694893°W / 53.7584887; -6.2694893 (Termonfeckin Abbey)

The following location in County Louth lacks monastic connection:
* Knock Abbey [notes 9]

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

A map of Ireland showing traditional county borders and names with Northern Ireland counties colored tan, all other counties colored greenList 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 Mayo
Click on a county to go to the corresponding article


  1. ^ White's list c.1658 (M. Lenihan, Limerick, its History and Antiquities, 1866, p.562;, cf. Registrum Kilmainham, edited by C. McNeill, IMS, 1943, pp.140, 155)
  2. ^ Dr Logan doubts there were lepers in Ireland at the time of St Patrick
  3. ^ Tomas de Burgo, Hibernica Dominicana, 1762 edition; A. P. Coleman, O.P., The Ancient Dominican Foundations of Ireland, 1902, doubts Earl Richard was founder, suggesting instead that the foundation occurred during the time of Walter or Roland Joyce, Dominican Archbishops of Armagh, 1307-1311 and 1311-1322
  4. ^ according to Colgan
  5. ^ Mervyn Archdall, Monasticon Hibernicum, 1786, p.593
  6. ^ James Ware, De Hibernia, et Antiquitatibus ejus, edition of 1654
  7. ^ References in Mervyn Archdall, Monasticon Hibernicum, 1786, p.461, are actually regarding Dromiskin
  8. ^ Mervyn Archdall, Monasticon Hibernicum, 1786, p.464; Trias Thaumaturga, edited by John Colgan, 1647
  9. ^ Knock Abbey, County Louth: Buildings of Ireland: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage


  1. ^ Holdings:
  2. ^ Petitioners: Carmelite friars of Ardee. Addressees: King and council. Nature... | The National Archives
  3. ^ ipernity: SAINT MARY'S ABBEY (Ardee) - by Fergal Jennings
  4. ^ "Abbey of St. Mary de Urso, Drogheda". The Dublin Penny Journal. 4 (185): 225–226. 1836. JSTOR 30004099.
  5. ^ Highlanes Gallery – The Franciscans in Drogheda
  6. ^ Dominicans Ireland – Drogheda Archived 2013-02-27 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ 1866 - Augustinian Friary, Drogheda, Co. Louth - Architecture of Louth -
  8. ^ "History of Kilsaran union of parishes in the County of Louth, being a history of the parishes of Kilsaran, Gernonstown, Stabannon, Manfieldstown, and Dromiskin, with many particulars relating to the parishes of Richardstown, Dromin, and Darver, comprising a large section of mid-Louth". 1908.
  9. ^ O'Sullivan, Harold (1960). "The Franciscans in Dundalk". Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society. 4 (1): 33–71. doi:10.2307/29740720. JSTOR 29740720.
  10. ^ Irish Franciscans
  11. ^ Site details: Kilsaran - Monastic Ireland - A Comprehensive Database of Sites and Sources
  12. ^ Ivor, Dermot Mac (1960). "The Knights Templars in County Louth". Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society. 4 (1): 72–91. doi:10.2307/29740721. JSTOR 29740721.
  13. ^ Gogarty, T. (1916). "The Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul, Knock". Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society. 4 (1): 62–69. doi:10.2307/27728089. JSTOR 27728089.
  14. ^ " Mapviewer". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014.

See also[edit]