Hore Abbey, sometimes called St. Mary’s, is the ruins of a former Cistercian monastery indirectly adjacent to the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. While this site may have ended in Cistercian control, it was originally built in 1266 by the Benedictine order. However, it was taken from the Benedictines in 1270 by Archbishop David MacCearbhaill and given to the Cistercians, and later entered their monastery. He endowed the Abbey generously with land, mills and other benefices previously belonging to the town and, as legend goes, the Archbishop had a dream that the Benedictines were about to kill him, thus prompting the transfer of ownership. This was likely based in paranoia, and possibly arose from his “interferences” in the local commerce, not to mention dislike of the local established orders in Cashel, which caused resentment.
The Abbey was the last pre-Reformation Cistercian foundation in Ireland. It was never prosperous and, at the time of the Dissolution, its annual income was only £21. While most of the Abbey was built in the 13th century, many changes were made in the 15th century, including the addition of the tower in the center transept.
The ruins are now surrounded by cow pasture and are accessible to the public at no charge. However, there is nearly no place to park, save for a small shoulder neat the entrance to the cow pasture. Most definitely worth the trip and, if you are visiting the Rock of Cashel, you should definitely stop over, as you are afforded a full view of the buildings without the scaffolding enshrouding a lot of the other major landmarks. This was definitely one of my favorite places to shoot while we were there.