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Sligo Abbey, Ireland

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

This afternoon, I am posting information of Sligo Abbey which is the sole surviving medieval building in Sligo, a port which sits at the mouth of the River Garavogue and ranks as the largest town in the North West of Ireland.

Although known as "The Abbey", this was established 1253 as a Dominican Friary by Maurice Fitzgerald. There is:
  • a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture;
  • well preserved cloisters;
  • the only sculptured 15th century high alter to survive in any Irish monastic church; and
  • delicate lancet windows.
For the visitor, the site is easily accessible from the town centre and car parking is close by.


video

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Jerpoint Abbey, Kilkenny, Ireland

Monday, August 24, 2009


This afternoon, I am posting information on a fascinating abbey which I encountered by chance during a recent tour of Ireland.

Jerpoint Abbey stands on the banks of the Little Arrigle river about 2km from Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. The Abbey was founded in c 1160 but by 1180 had been colonised by Cistercian monks from Baltinglass Abbey, Co. Wicklow.

By 1228 the religious complement comprised 36 monks and 50 lay brothers.

The tower was constructed in the 15th century. By time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 the complement had decreased to the abbot and five monks. At that time the Abbey controlled some 14,500 acres of land.

The plan of the abbey follows the conventional Cistercian layout with cruciform church of nave, chancel and transepts: a crossing tower was added in the 15th century. the cloister lies to the south of the church.

Overall, and relative to its age and condition, the abbey is in a good state of repair. I was particularly impressed by the quality and preservation of the carvings together with remnants of coloured armorial wall paintings.




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posted by Catswhiskers @ 4:52 AM  0 comments

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Kissing the Blarney Stone, Ireland

Monday, August 17, 2009

The image below does not represent some form of torture, but an experience for which visitors willingly climb up many steps to the roof and Blarney Castle in county Cork and pay for the privilege of lying backwards over the roof of the castle. This is known as kissing the Blarney Stone, a ritual which generates the castle many thousands of dollars in revenue.

Visitors go through this ritual because kissing the stone is a long standing tradition, intended to confer a magical eloquence on the individual concerned. The stone is set in the wall, below the castle battlements. Kissing the stone entails the visitor being grasped by the feet and suspended backwards under the parapet.

If this attraction was in the U.K. the jobsworths of Health and Safety would have killed this bit of lucrative fun off long ago!

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