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Annaghdown (Premon.) (Monastery)

also known as: Monastery of St. John the Baptist, de Cella Parva

Order: Premonstratensian

According to P.N. Backmund's Monasticon Premonstratense, Cella Parva was founded between 1216 and 1224 by a bishop of Annaghdown, Murtagh O'Flaherty.
Thomas O'Malley was either the first or second abbot and the son of a bishop and a nun. (Backmund), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203)
In 1252, the convent of St. John Annaghdown was granted letters of protection by Henry III. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203)

Backmund could find no records of abbots after 1480 and suggests that the monastery was then impoverished and falling down at this time.

However, Tadhg, prior of the house of St. John, occurs in 1491 in the Annals of Ulster, and it has been suggested that this was an abbot of Annaghdown.(AU). The monastery continued until the reign of Henry VIII (O'Connell, 245 - 6). (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203)

The most northerly of the three sets of ruins at Annaghdown, locally known as 'the Nunnery' appears to have been the Premonstratensian abbey. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203)

Name of Foundation: Annaghdown
Dedicated to: St. John the Baptist, de Cella Parva
Affiliated to: Tuam

Barony: Clare
Civil Parish: Eanach Dhúin
Townland: Annaghdown (Eanach Dhúin)
Kingdom/Lordship: Iar Chonnacht/Má Seola
Early mediaeval Kingdom/Lordship: Uí Flaithbertaig
Late mediaeval Kingdom/Lordship: O'Flaherty

Main events in the history of this site

1216 - 1224Foundation - According to P.N. Backmund's Monasticon Premonstratense, Cella Parva was founded between 1216 and 1224 by a bishop of Annaghdown, Murtagh O'Flaherty.
Thomas O'Malley was either the first or second abbot and the son of a bishop and a nun. (Backmund), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1226 - One of the canons forsook the order to become archdeacon of Annaghdown in 1226. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
c.1242 - Thomas O'Malley, who was either the first or second abbot of the monastery, became bishop of Annaghdown c. 1242, but in 1247 was stated to have procured his election to the see unlawfully. (CPR), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1252 - The convent of St. John Annaghdown was granted letters of protection by Henry III. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1302 - 06 - In 1302 - 06, the value of the monastery de. Parva Cella, excepting their churches, is given as 10s.(CDI), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1400 - In 1400, Thomas O'Malley was provided to the abbey. 
1434 - Patrick Odubaig, a secular canon of Annaghdown, was to be appointed abbot after being received and professed in the abbey, but in 1434, Thomas O'Malley was still abbot, and he was acceded by a canon of Derrane O.S.A. (CPR), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1440 - In 1440, the monastery was unlawfully detained by John O'Reilly, one of the canons, and Patrick Odubahy, then abbot of St. John Evangelist, Tuam O.S.A., was to be abbot of St. John de Cella Parva after changing his habit. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1445 - In 1445, abbot Patrick Odubahy resigned as abbot and Eugenius Maccagayn, a canon of Newark Priory O.S.A. in England, was to be provided to Annaghdown. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
1480Dissolution - Backmund could find no records of abbots after 1480 and suggests that the monastery was then impoverished and falling down at this time.
However, Tadhg, prior of the house of St. John, occurs in 1491 in the Annals of Ulster, and it has been suggested that this was an abbot of Annaghdown.(AU). The monastery continued until the reign of Henry VIII (O'Connell, 245 - 6). (Med. religious houses, Ire., 203) 
+ 5 minor events. Show minor events

Bibliographical sources

5 Printed sources

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Archival sources

Royal Irish Academy Manuscripts Collection, 'Letter from William Wakeman to William Wilde, noting the churches at Annadown', (Document), (View website)

Royal Irish Academy Manuscripts Collection, 'OS Letter, to T. A. Larcom from John O'Donovan (Annaghdown churches)', (Document), (View website)

Royal Irish Academy Manuscripts Collection, 'OS Letter, to T. A. Larcom from John O'Donovan (Annaghdown)', (Document), (View website)

Galway, OSI Grid:M2873238081