Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey, founded in 1180, is a Cistercian ruins near Thomastown in County Kilkenny.  The abbey was probably constructed on the site of an earlier Benadictine Monsastery, which had been built in 1160, and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.  Jerpoint is notable for its stone carvings, including the tomb of Felix O’Dullany, Bishop of the Diocese of Ossory who was interred in 1202.  It flourished until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII and was surrendered to the king by Oliver Grace, the last abbot.

The ruins are extensive and display some specimens of the later Norman passing into the English style of architecture.  There is a well-proportioned, square embattled tower and church, with its Romanesque details.  The transept chapels are 13th or 16th century tomb sculptures.  The tower and cloister, with its beautifully preserved and unique stone carvings, date from the 15th century.

Unlike a lot of the ruins we visited, this one has a very lovely visitor center and museum of artifacts from the site.  It was declared a National Monument and is in the care of the state since 1880.

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