Advent Calendar of Medieval Religious Institutions: December 12th: Hore Abbey

Hore Abbey1Hore Abbey2Hore Abbey3Hore Abbey in County Tipperary Ireland is often overshadowed by the awe inspiringly spectacular Rock of Cashel which looms right over it. It is, however, a very interesting abbey in its own right.

The Abbey was founded by the Benedictines in 1266. However in 1269 it is said that the Archbishop of Cashel David McCarvill had a dream that the monks attempted to decapitate him so he violently threw the Benedictines out. It is definitely true that he evicted the Benedictines, though it was probably for a more prosaic reason.

He remade the abbey as a Cistercian foundation and imported monks from Mellifont Abbey to populate it. It was the last Cistercian abbey to be founded in Ireland. The majority of the ruins you see today date from the 13th century though some changes were made in the 15th century. The most obvious change was the addition of the tower in the middle of the transept. The remains of the cloister arcade are positioned to the north of the abbey itself, which is unusual. It is possible that the location of the Rock of Cashel might be the reason for this odd positioning.

The buildings are actually quite substantial. The remaining choir is twenty-nine feet long and twenty feet wide. The nave is fifty feet long and twenty three feet wide.

The Abbey was dissolved as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and only the Abbot and one monk were granted a pension. In 1561 Elizabeth I gave the abbey and its grounds to Sir Henry Radcliffe along with a portion of ale, called the Mary-gallon, out of every brewing in Cashel.

References:

Site visit 2012

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/sports-recreation/postcards-of-ireland/tipperarys-historical-pos/cashel/hore-abbey/

http://www.ireland.com/en-au/what-is-available/attractions-built-heritage/churches-abbeys-and-monasteries/destinations/republic-of-ireland/tipperary/cashel/all/1-60836/

Grosse, The Antiquities of Ireland, Volume I, Kilkenny: Wellbrook Press, 1982.

The photos are all mine.

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