If you wish to venture outside the city centre, you should know that Roscrea is endowed with a marvellous abbey dating from the 12th century: the Monaincha Abbey. This abbey is mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters, a book that collects many testimonies on Irish History. During your visit, you will be able to admire the beauty of its ruined architecture. An excellent way to project yourself back to the Irish Middle Ages!
Monaincha Abbey is often described by the Irish as the best kept secret in County Tipperary! Rich in mystery, it enjoys an exceptional setting! Installed in a corner of the Irish countryside, on an isolated island, the abbey seems to have been completely forgotten by the modern world, and still stands majestically despite the centuries.
The abbey dates back to 1140, and is said to have been built by the Augustinians. The abbey was later known to be an important cultural centre of the time, until it was abandoned in 1485. Nowadays, the abbey is such that it has been abandoned, despite some restorations carried out during the 19th century (some windows have been badly renovated, and are even crooked!).
As you walk around the building, you will notice that the abbey is surrounded by beautiful trees. The building consists of a nave 12 metres long and 7 metres wide and a choir of 3.5 metres on each side. The whole was built in a strong Romanesque style, with vaults, capitals and characteristic arched windows. The rendering is magnificent, and its condition gives it a typical charm!
Don’t hesitate to walk around the cemetery: it has an almost romantic charm with its Celtic tombs and crosses. Some of the tombs date back to the 12th century, and go all the way back to the 19th century!
The corner is superb and easy to access (prefer to park a little further away, because unless you have a good 4×4, the surroundings are quite muddy). In short, a nice visit!