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Athassel Priory, Tipperary

4.5
#2 of 6 in Sightseeing in Tipperary
Ruin Historic Site
Athassel Priory is the largest medieval priory in Ireland, stretching over a 4acre site. The priory dates back to the late 12th century when it was founded by the Augustinians under the patronage of William de Burgh. William's grandson Hubert de Burgh, (or Burgo) later the Bishop of Limerick, was prior at Athassel c. 1221. The original buildings were altered and renovated over the next 300 years. The priory was burnt twice, once in 1329 by Brian King of Thomond and again in 1581 by John Fitzgerald of Desmond. A large town had grown up around the priory but was destroyed during the two raids. The Priory was finally dissolved in 1537 and the lands given to Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond who neglected the abbey and it subsequently fell into ruin.ArchitectureThe priory is accessed by a bridge and gate-lodge. Here the visitor can begin to note patterns that will be discerned throughout the site. The reconstruction and modification of the buildings is evident, often involving their ‘down-sizing’ to meet the needs of a smaller community. Nothing remains of the town that once surrounded the priory. The main aisle of the Priory was used in recent centuries as a burial ground. The now blocked up rood screen can be seen over the doorway in the centre. The walls are full of put-log holes, now ideal nest sites for dozens of jackdaws. These holes were used in construction to affix scaffolding-timbers.Burials Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster William de Burgh, died 1205, founder of the de Burgh/Burke/Bourke dynasty in Ireland
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Google
4.6
  • We ended up coming here serendipity. It was very exciting to get in this Priory, the largest medieval in Ireland, stretching over a 4-acre site. It is from the 12th century, founded by the Augustinian...  more »
  • This is a great ruin to visit. As of April 2017, there are no signs to it, and no entrance fee. It is in the middle of a cow field, behind a locked gate. Here is how to get into it: 1) Since there is ...  more »
  • The Athassel Priory has not been commercialised so there are no guided tours, no entery fees, no public parking and very little information on what it is that you are looking at but despite all of thi...  more »
Google
  • Hard to find, and a bit of a scary walk in - watch out for bulls. If you see them, consider coming back another day. otherwise, one of the best ruins in Ireland in my opinion. Very limited parking, (like none, so you pull off the road as best you can). Please be respectful, this is also a final resting place for many souls.
  • It is overwhelming to walk in this place. The ruins of the priory is rarely visited, quiet and respectul.
  • It's an amazing place, quite well preserved too. It is not normally accessible to people: you have to climb a small wall and cross some fields in order to get there but it's a good worth. The wall to be climbed it as short as we climbed it with our baby in a carrier. I don't understand why this place is not open to the public and, yet, it looks like abandoned and forgotten. Very suggestive atmosphere as well. Although it's not so known and touristic I would suggest popping over if it turns up to be around.
  • Such a beautiful setting and amazing history
  • Customer service a bit lacking, too many bulls... Seriously, the place was full of bovines. The kids loved the whole experience including having to just through a gate to get in.