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Adare (Friary)

also known as: Black Abbey

Order: Augustinian Friars

There is evidence for several early Christian ecclesiastical settlements in the Adare region. These include Ard Chaitne, in the parish of Ardcanny in the deanery of Adare – field remains exist for a church site (possibly early). Also in the deanery of Adare is the site of Cell Chúrnáin, associated with Cúmán Becc in the parish of Kilcoman. Field remains include a church site. There was a festival in honour of the patron, Cuman. The church site also remains for Cell Dímmae, associated with Dimma ‘son of Cass’, in the parish of Kildimo, in the deanery of Adare. There was also a festival and station in honour of the patron. The foundation of Cell mac Gobain (?), in the townland of Kilboggin, in the parish of Adare, has an extant church ruin. Further sites include Cluain Áine (?), in the deanery of Adare, and Kilcurly, in the parish of Adare, which has traces of a church remaining. (http://monasticon.celt.dias.ie, accessed 22/03/13)

The Augustinian friary is situated to the east of Adare, on the banks of the river Maigue.

The friary, known as Black Abbey, was founded by John Fitz Thomas Fitzgerald, (created Earl of Kildare on 14 May, 1316, and who died soon afterwards). The confirmation charter, addressed to his son Thomas, is dated 13 December 1317. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) It was officially suppressed in 1539 - 40, although the wording of a document cited in Dunraven's Memorials suggests that the friars were still in the buildings in 1559 - they may have been driven out at the same time as the Franciscans (c. 1581) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295)
In 1541, the rents and farms of this friary were valued at 104s. 4s. (Extents). The possessions included nearly 80 acres of land, several cottages and gardens in Adare, and a fishing weir on the River Maigue. (A(AG)) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295)
The friary was leased to John Gold and others before 1583. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295, and it was granted, with certain other monasteries, to Sir. Henry Wallop in 1595. (CPRIre, Hen VIII - Eliz), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295)


The building was described in Richard Colt Hoare's tour of Ireland, published in 1806: 'The first I visited, is situated near the bridge, and is on the right-hand side of the road, and its state of preservation is so great, owing to the hard nature of the limestone with which it was built, that it bears quite a modern appearance. Its nave and choir are decorated with many sepulchral niches and confessional stalls; and on the northern side of the building are the cloysters, of good pointed architecture, and in a very high state of preservation. Many of the exterior decorations of the windows are lost by a superabundant luxuriance of ivy' (Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., Journal of a Tour in Ireland, AD 1806 (London, 1807), 49. Various depictions of the building from this period depict the foundation without its roof, with one traceried window visible, and the tower intact. The church was restored in 1807, for the use of the Church of Ireland parishioners of Adare. This was funded by a grant, which had to be repaid, from the Board of First Fruits.
The Dunraven mausoleum was inserted into the western end of the cloister, designed by James Pain, in 1826 - 27.
The English architect, Philip Charles Hardwick, undertook a series of works to the building in 1854, largely paid for by Caroline, the Countess of Dunraven. The Irish Ecclesiastical Commission later carried out other works to the interior. It continues to be used as the Church of Ireland parish church for the area. The conventual buildings were also restored, and were used as a schoolhouse, now in use as a private residence. (Niamh NicGhahbann, Reconstructions of the Gothic Past: Ruins and the Improving Landlord in early nineteenth-century Ireland, 190 - 192)show more...

Name of Foundation: Adare

Barony: Kenry/Caonraí Connello Upper/ Conallaigh Uachtaracha Cois Máige/ Cosmha
Civil Parish: Adare/ Áth Dara
Townland: Blackabbey ()
Owned by: The church is currently in use as the Church of Ireland parish church at Adare.

Main events in the history of this site

1317, 13 December - 13 December 1317
Of the K.’s special grace, Licence to the friars of the order of hermits of St. Augustine of Adare, for the K.’s soul and the souls of his ancestors, that those friars and their successors may hold to themselves and their successors in pure and perpetual alms a site of 2 ½ burgages in the town of Adare, which John s. of Thomas, late earl of Kildare, granted to them and Thomas s. of John, the present earl of Kildare confirmed; and also a site of half a burgage which belonged to Richard Adare, chaplain, in that town; and a site of half a burgage which belonged to John Madok in that town; 2 acres of land which belonged to Robert le Blound and John his son in the same town, bordering the site of 2 ½ burgages; and a site of 1 burgage which belonged to William Burne in the same town. As it was found by inquisition made at the K.’s order that that grant is not to the K.’s grant or prejudice, not to that of any other person, except for 5s 6d due to the K. from those tenements during wardship after the death of the earl of Kildare.
Roger Mortimer, Lt. (CIRCLE, accessed 14/03/13)
 
1317, 13 DecemberFoundation - The friary, known as Black Abbey, was founded by John Fitz Thomas Fitzgerald, (created Earl of Kildare on 14 May, 1316, and who died soon afterwards). The confirmation charter, addressed to his son Thomas, is dated 13 December 1317. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
1319 - The Trinitarians of Adare were accused of seizing the goods of the Augustinians of Black Abbey, Adare. (Begley, 363 - 5) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
1472, 15 May - Myler Cantwell and two other friars were granted permission to introduce the Observant reform at Adare. (AGA) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
1539 - 1540 - The friary was officially suppressed, although the wording of a document cited in Dunraven's Memorials suggests that the friars were still in the buildings in 1559 - they may have been driven out at the same time as the Franciscans (c. 1581) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
1541 - In 1541, the rents and farms of this friary were valued at 104s. 4s. (Extents). The possessions included nearly 80 acres of land, several cottages and gardens in Adare, and a fishing weir on the River Maigue. (A(AG)) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
pre 1583 - The friary was leased to John Gold and others before 1583. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
1595 - The friary was granted, with certain other monasteries, to Sir. Henry Wallop in 1595. (CPRIre, Hen VIII - Eliz), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 295) 
1630 - 1630
The King to Viscount Loftus, Chancellor, and the Earl of Cork, Justices – directing letters patent to be passed to Sit John Jephson, confirming his title to the manor of Mallow, in the country of Carberie and county of Cork; the Black and White Abbey of Adare; Monastergilliagh, in the county of Limerick, and the monastery of Ballybeg, the county of Cork. (Calendar of Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland, Charles I, 2 (1625 – 1633), 562.
 
+ 3 minor events. Show minor events

Bibliographical sources

16 Printed sources

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Archival sources

National Library of Ireland, 'A W: View of the Black-Abbey at Adair, Co.y Limerick', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Ireland, 'Addair Abbey Co.y Limerick', (Document), (View website)

Royal Irish Academy Prints and Drawings, 'T. J. Westropp, Adare church (Augustinian Abbey), Adare.', (Document),

Royal Irish Academy Prints and Drawings, 'T. J. Westropp, Adare, the Augustinian Monastery (Protestant church), Oct 3rd 1879.', (Document),

Royal Irish Academy Prints and Drawings, 'T. J. Westropp, Lion on corner of Augustinian Abbey (Adare church), Sep 24th 87.', (Document),

Royal Irish Academy Prints and Drawings, 'T. J. Westropp, The Augustinian monastery (now church), Adare, cloisters of the Abbey church, Nov 29', (Document),

National Library of Ireland, 'The Church, being part of the Ruins of Adare, County of Limerick', (Document), (View website)

Images of this site

Augustinian Abbey, Adare

Augustinian Abbey, Adare

Augustinian Abbey, Adare


Cloister, Augustinian Abbey, Adare

Cloister, Augustinian Abbey, Adare

Detail of corbel table, Augustinian foundation, Adare


Dunraven Mausoleum by James Pain, 19th century, Augustinan foundation, Adare

East window, exterior view, Augustinian Abbey, Adare

Font, Augustinian foundation, Adare


Interior looking towards the east, Augustinian foundation, Adare

Interior looking towards the west, Augustinian foundation, Adare

Piscina and sedilia, Augustinian foundation, Adare


Window detail, reticulated tracery, Augustinian foundation, Adare

Augustinian Abbey, Adare

Limerick, OSI Grid:R4682546503