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St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Mainistir Mhuire
Tower of St. Mary's Church, Duleek - geograph.org.uk - 757989.jpg
Tower, 15th century
Monastery information
Order Canons Regular (Arrouaisian)
Established 1180
Disestablished 1537
Mother house Clonard Abbey
Dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus
Diocese Meath
People
Founder(s) Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath
Architecture
Status Inactive
Heritage designation
Designations
National Monument of Ireland
Official name Duleek Church
Reference no. 179
Style Norman
Site
Location Commons, Duleek, County Meath
Coordinates 53°39′18″N 6°25′08″W / 53.655069°N 6.418806°W / 53.655069; -6.418806
Public access yes

St. Mary's Abbey is a medieval monastery and National Monument located in Duleek, Ireland.

Location

St. Mary's Abbey is located in the central part of Duleek called the Commons, between Main Street and Church Lane. The Nanny River is to the southwest.

History

A monastery stood in Duleek from the 5th century. A round tower stood here; it was damaged by lightning in 1147 but survived a few more centuries.

In 1180 Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath granted Duleek (including St. Patrick's Church) to the Canons Regular. However, the surviving buildings are later: the southern arcade is 13th century, the southern aisle and bell tower are 15th century and the main tower and the east gable with window are 16th century. The abbey was shut down in the 1537 Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The Abbey was later used for burials. James Cusack, Catholic Bishop of Meath 1679–88, was buried in an effigial tomb. Also buried here is John Bellew, 1st Baron Bellew of Duleek who died of wounds received at the Battle of Aughrim. Saint Kienan's, a Church of Ireland church, was built next to the old abbey in 1816.

Buildings

All that remains is the south aisle and the tower. The tower survives with four stories with quoins, battered walls, battlements, aumbry and stairs turret. The east window (bearing the arms of Sir John Bellew and Dame Ismay Nugent beneath it) is a 1587 post-Gothic replacement.

In the north wall of the medieval belfry is the scar or shadow of a round tower.

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