St Dominic’s Abbey is a medieval Dominican abbey located in Cashel, Ireland. A listed Irish National Heritage Monument, the building is less than 300 metres from the famous and very touristy Rock of Cashel, a rocky mound that is home to many buildings dating back to the Middle Ages, all remarkably well preserved. The abbey, a little set back, is also a real marvel of architecture and history, to be discovered without further delay!
If you like ruined abbeys, then you’ve come to the right place. St Dominic’s Abbey is a real treasure, a testimony of Irish medieval monastic life.
The abbey dates from the 13th century, and was founded by the Archbishop of Cashel David Mac Cellaig (David McKelly) in 1243, during the reign of Henry III. It was originally used by religious people from Cork, before opening up to the monks of the region.
A very influential abbey at the time, it was however the victim of an accidental fire, which necessitated its reconstruction in 1480 under the management of John Cantwell II. A perfect opportunity to enlarge the building and equip it:
Nowadays, the abbey, although exposed to the ravages of time, has managed to preserve its structure of 1480. Among its remarkable elements, don’t miss the beauty of its carved interlacing at the level of the Gothic windows. The large tower, still standing, brings a majestic charm to the whole.
In short, a monument to discover, before going to the Rock of Cashel!