also known as: 'White Abbey'Order: Trinitarian
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)
Trial trenching took place on behalf of Limerick County Council in 1991 in the field immediately west of the Trinitarian priory, in advance of the construction of a heritage centre and car park. This site had been part of the priory precinct, as shown on a map of Adare from 1654. Extensive examination revealed no archaeological evidence, resulting in the assumption of that it had been an open area within the precinct throughout the middle ages. (Heather A. King, www.excavations.ie, accessed 22/03/13)Name of Foundation: Holy Trinity
Further excavations were carried out in 1999, as part of the Adare Main Street Improvements Scheme. This revealed archaeological deposits from the eastern end of the village to a point east of the stream that crosses the Main Street near the centre of the village. The insertion of a stone bridge/culvert in the 19th century had removed all older deposits in this area. West of the stream, post-medieval/modern material was recorded between the existing road foundation and the underlying boulder clay or bedrock.
Over the eastern half of the excavation, archaeological layers had been scarped and only isolated pit cuts survived. Towards the centre of the village, deposits up to 0.2 – 0.3m survived. The earliest feature excavated was a large, stone-lined culvert that traversed the road. The capstone was between 0.86 and 1m below existing ground level. The culvert measured 0.6m x 0.5m internally and was built in a large trench. It was covered by redeposited boulder clay that had been cut by medieval pits. The culvert may have served to direct a water source to the Trinitarian abbey.
On the northern side of the main street, a variety of materials comprised a road surface that extended for 116m. This was made up of levelled-out bedrock, metalling, rough cobbling and a more formal road surface. The rough cobbling occurred particularly over the fills of pits that lay beneath the road. The formal stone surface was excavated in the centre of the village and extended for 18m. The stones were set in a clay bedding. An earlier, similar surface was recorded beneath, but this was protected and remains undisturbed. (Sarah McCutcheon, www.excavations.ie, accessed 22/03/13)
Further images are available at www.gothicpast.com
Trinitarian Abbey, Adare, County Limerick:
Dedicated to: St. James
Barony: Kenry/Caonraí Connello Upper/ Conallaigh Uachtaracha Cois Máige/ Cosmha
Civil Parish: Adare/ Áth Dara
Townland: Blackabbey ()
Access: In use as the Roman Catholic parish church of Adare, restored in the nineteenth century by parishioners and the Earls of Dunraven
Owned by: The church is in use as the Roman Catholic church at Adare.
Main events in the history of this site
pre 1266: Foundation - The foundation date of the Trinitarian foundation of St. James is disputed - one source (Ware) states that it was built in the reign of Edward I. Another source (ALS) adds that it was built by the Clangibbons, c. mid-thirteenth century. According to Begley (362 ff.), as the patron of the house is St. James, it can be argued that it was in existence in 1226, when Geoffrey de Marisco obtained a grant to hold a fair at Adare during the eight days following the feast of St. James. A further source, Lopez, maintains that the house was founded in 1230 from Dunbar in Scotland. (Lopez, Not. Hist. de la St. Trinidad...en Inglaterra, Escocia y Hibernia, (Madrid 17 14)). However, Easson, in Medieval Religious Houses, Scotland (1957), could not find any connection between Adare and Dunbar, and gives the 1240 - 8 as the foundation date for Dunbar. (Med. Religious Houses, Ire., 217)
1272: - The Trinitarian foundation at Adare was rebuilt in 1272 by Thomas Fitzgerald, lord of Offaly (RSAI, xlvi, 195), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 217)
1292: - 1292 – 3, Feb. 20 – The K. commands the chancellor to direct under the Great Seal the sheriff of Limerick, in Ireland, to inquire whether it would be to the K.’s damage to grant licence to Adam de Leyns, parson of the church of Allekagh [Athlacca, co. Limerick], to give to the prior and convent of Adare 2 carucates in Adare; and whether those religious might take and appropriate a gift of 3 marcates of rent in the same vill. Codenore. (CDI, 4, 1293 – 1301), 6
According to Med. religious houses, Ire., this must refer to the Trinitarian foundation, as it was the only religious house in Adare at the time. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 217)
1293: - Feb. 20 1293 Order to command the sheriff of Limerick in Ireland under the great seal to enquire whether it is to the king’s damage to grant that Adam de Leyns, parson of the church of Allekagh, may grant to the prior and convent of Adare two caracutes of land in Adare and that they may receive 3 marks rent in the same town of the gift of divers persons whose names the bearer will tell. (Calendar of Chancery Warrants, 1 (1244 – 1326), 36)
1302 - 1307: - Deanery of Adare
Kylcurnan – Value 8 marks. Tenth 10s. 8d.
Moynhinyn – Value 4 marks. Tenth 5s. 4d.
The church of Adare, with the chapels of Kylkyrerly and castle Robert. 11 marks, 4s. 5 ½ d. Tenth 15 s 1 ½ d. (Excepting 10 marks of annual and free rent which the Hospitallers have in said church.
Vicarage of the same. Value. 5 marks, 8s. 10 ¼ d., excepting 4 marks of annual rent which the Hospitallers have in said church.
Church of Cronnich. Value 28 marks. Tenth 37 s. 6 ½ d.
Vicarage of the same. Value 14 marks. Tenth 18s. 8d.
CDI, 5 (1302 – 1307), 273
1302 - 1307: - 1302 – 1307 Taxation of all the goods of the Bishop of Limerick
Taxation of goods of religious houses of the same diocese, to wit:
St. James of Adare – Value 40s. Tenth 4s.
(CDI, 5 (1302 – 1307), 271)
1319: - 1319 - Peter, the minister, along with three 'monks', was accused of seizing the goods of the Augustinians (Begley) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 217)
1326, 12 July: - Patent Roll 20 Edward II, 12 July 1326, Kilkenny (RCH 33/2)
The K. has learned by inquisition made at his order by Walter de la Pulle, escheator of Ire., that it is neither to the K.’s loss or prejudice, nor to that of any other, if brother Peter, minister of the Order of the Holy Trinity of Adare, and the convent of that place, should purchase from William Nothyn three acres of land with appurtenances in Adare, which are held in chief of Thomas s. of John, e. Kildare; to have and to hold to the minister of the order of Adare and the convent of that place, and their successors, the brethren of that place, in pure and perpetual alms, forever. Wishing to show special favour to the said minister and convent, Licence to them to purchase those three acres of land with appurtenances from the said William, to have and to hold them and their successors in pure and perpetual alms, notwithstanding the Statute of Mortmain. Not wishing that the minister and convent or their successors, or the said William or his successors, should be troubled or aggrieved in any way by the K., his heirs or servants because of the sale and purchase of those lands.
1329: - Peter, the minister, was granted licence to purchase 3 acres in Adare. (Begley), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 217)
1359: - The house was granted £20 per annum. (Begley) (Med. religious houses, Ire., 217)
1414: - The house was unlawfully detained after the death of Walter Northyn (CPR), Med. religious houses, Ire., 217)
1414: - 1414.
2 Non. April. Bologna. (f. 64d.)
To the bishop of Limerick, the abbot of St. Mary’s, Monasternenagh (de Magio), in the diocese of Limerick, and Edmund Fitz Adam, canon of Limerick. Mandate – the pope having learned that the office of minister of the Trinitarian house of St. James, in the diocese of Limerick, is void by the death of Walter Northyn; although John Flemyng, friar of the said house, unlawfully detains it, and has inhabited, under paid of excommunication and otherwise Thomas Bottiller, priest, as a friar of the same house, from repairing to the apostolic see for the purpose of obtaining the said office – the summon John and others concerned, and if they find that the said inhibition proceeded from the said reason, to declare it null, and to collate and assign to Thomas the said office, a conventual dignity, with cure and elective value for the minister’s use and mensa not exceeding 6 marks. Religionis zelus, vite ac morum. (CPL, 5, 1404 – 1415), 397
1463: - 1463 6 Pius II.
10 Kal. Dec. (22 Nov.) St. Peter’s, Rome. (f. 156)
To the prior of St. Catherine the Virgin’s by Waterford (juxta Watyrffordiam) in the diocese of Waterford (Watyrfforden), the archdeacon of Waterford and Thomas Oseanchan, a canon of the same. Mandate (the pope having been informed by John Maclanchay, minister of the Trinitarian house or convent of St. James, Adar, in the diocese of Limerick, that by the neglect of John Lamport, prior or warden of the Benedictine house or church of St. John the Evangelist by Waterford (juxta Watyrffordiam), in the diocese of Waterford, divine worship is not kept, and its buildings in a state of ruin, its fruits etc., dissipated and many of them detained by laymen and, what is worse, the cure of souls of the parishioners of the said priory or wardenship, which is wide, is neglected because he is entirely ignorant of the language of the country) if and after the said John Maclanchay, who is of noble birth, is powerful in those parts, and greatly desires the repair and restoration of the said priory or wardenship, etc., accuses Lamport before the above three, to summon him, and if they find the foregoing to be true, to deprive and remove him, and in that event to collate and assign the said priory or wardenship, which is not a dignity, depends on the priory of Bath in the diocese of Bath, is wont to be governed by priors or wardens, monks of Bath, removable at the pleasure of the prior of Bath, has cure, and whose value and that of its annexes etc. does not exceed 40 marks sterling, to the said John Maclanchay; notwithstanding that he holds the said ministership, a conventual elective dignity with cure, value [likewise] not exceeding 40 marks sterling, which he is, as he has offered, to resign upon obtaining the said priory or wardenship. He is to wear the habit work therein, and cannot be removed for life by any one soever except for his demerits. Religionis zelus, nobilitas generis, vite etc.
(CPL, 11 (1455 – 1464), 500)
1474: - 1474, 16 Kal. Nov. (17 Oct.) St. Peter’s Rome. (f. 17lr.)
4 Sixtus IV.
To the abbot of St. Mary’s, Monasternenagh (de Magio), in the diocese of Limerick, and the archdeacon and chancellor of Limerick, and the archdeacon and chancellor of Limerick. Mandate to collate and assign to John Macclanche, perpetual beneficiary [sic} of the parish church of Adar in the diocese of Limerick, priest (lately dispensed by papal authority on account of illegitimacy, as the son of a priest and a married woman, to be promoted to all, even holy orders and hold a benefice with cure, in virtue of which he has been so promoted and holds the perpetual vicarage of the said church, value 12 marks sterling), the rectory of the parish church of Croma in the same diocese, of lay patronage and value 24 marks sterling, so long void, because Maurice Macthomays Ryevy Ymulcorkay held it for more than a year without being ordained priest, that its collation lapsed to the apostolic see, summoning and removing Robert Donduin, clerk, who has detained it for about six years under pretext of a presentation and institution made after the said lapse; with the necessary dispensation. Vite ac morum.
(CPL, 13.1 (1471 – 1475), 41
1475 - 6: - 1475 – 6
4 Id. Feb. (10 Feb.) St. Peter’s, Rome (f. 125r.)
To the bishop of Emly. Mandate, as below. The pope lately, on being informed by Richard Purssel, clerk of the diocese of Limerick, that John Maklanige, prior called minister of the Trinitarian house of St. James A[t]hdarryd, in the said diocese, being under sentence of excommunication for divers crimes and being guilty of perjury, has celebrated masses and other divine offices in contempt of the Keys, ordered the priors of Holy Trinity on the bridge of Limerick and St. Mary’s, Ragelli, in the diocese of Limerick, and the official of Limerick, if the said Richard would accuse the said John before them, to summon the latter, and if they found the foregoing to be true, to deprive and remove him, and in that event to grant the said priory in commendam to Richard for life. The recent petition of the said John containing that although…appeals therefrom, as in the preceding, the pope hereby order the above bishop to join himself to the above-named judges in the said cause. Honestis etc. [See above, p. 43), CPL, 13.2 (1475 – 1484), 529 – 530)
1475: - 1475 14 Kal. Jan. (19 Dec.) St. Peter’s,Rome (f. 215 v.)
To the priors of St. Cross on the bridge of Limerick and St. Mary’s, Ragelli, in the diocese of Limerick, and the official of Limerick. Mandate – the pope having been informed by Richard Purssell, clerk of the diocese of Limerick, that John Maklanyge, prior called minister of the Trinitarian house of St. James, Ahdarryd, in the same diocese, has, when under sentence of excommunication and accused of perjury, celebrated mass etc. in contempt of the Keys – if Richard, who is by both parents of noble birth, will accuse John, to summon John and others concerned, and if they find the foregoing to be true, to deprive and remove him, and in that event to grant the said priory, which is conventual and value 40 marks sterling, to Richard in commendam for life. Nobilitas generis, vite etc. (CPL, 13.1 (1471 – 1475, 43 – 44)
1483 - 4: - 1483 – 4
5 Id. Feb. (9 Feb.), St. Peter’s, Rome. (f. 308r.)
To the prior of St. Mary’s, Rathgaeli, in the diocese of Limerick, John Baptista de Ferrariis, a canon of Modena and Gerald Machoeid, a canon of Cloyne (Clonen). Mandate, as below. The ministership or priorship of the Trinitarian house or monastery of St. James, Athare, in the diocese of Limerick, a conventual dignity, has become void by the death of John Maclamche (recte Maclanche) without the Roman court, and therefore reserved to the pope by his late reservation of all conventual dignities. And the recent petition of Eugenius Offaelain, clerk, of the diocese of Cloyne, bachelor in decrees, contained that without letters dismissory of his own bishop, and without mention of his own illegitimacy, as the son of a clerk and an unmarried or a married woman, and without having obtained a dispensation, he had himself made a clerk by another bishop than his own, that he entered a certain house of Friars Minors in those parts, assumed the habit and wore it for three days, and after having remained for a fortnight in the said house and order, put off the said habit, and with the consent of the guardian and the friars, left the said house and order, and behaved as a secular clerk, as he does at present; that he obtained letters from the penitentiary of the present pope, by which letters (containing no mention of the foregoing) a certain judge in those parts was ordered to dispense him on account of illegitimacy, as the son, as he then alleged, of a clerk and an unmarried woman, to be promoted to all, even holy order and hold a benefice even with cure; that, on the voidance of the priorship of the house or hospital of St. Edward, king and martyr, by the bridge of Limerick, O.S.A., conventual, elective and with cure, and the subsequent voidance of the rectory of Sandron in the said diocese of Cloyne, of lay patronage, values 40 and 20 marks sterling respectively, he, without having presented the letters to the said judge, and under the pretext of certain letters of Paul II, in which it was stated that he had been sufficiently dispensed on account of the said defect, obtained a grant of the said priorship of St. Edward’s in commendam, and was also at the presentation of the patron instituted by the ordinary as rector of the said church; that under the pretext of the said commenda and the said presentation and institution, respectively, he obtained possession of the said priorship and institution, and has detained them for more than eight and eleven years, respectively, against Execrabilis; that he despoiled certain clerks of the fruits etc., valued 8 and 4 marks sterling respectively, of the parish churches of Congaurat and Ballicancartcart in the dioceses of Cloyne and Limerick, which fruits etc. are wont to be granted to yearly farm or pension, and had been granted to farm to the said clerks by the abbesses and nuns of Grayn and Themolinberch, O.S.B., in the dioceses of Dublin and Leighlin, to whom the said churches of Cogaurat and Ballichancart are united in perpetuity, and took the said fruits etc. for some time; that he has been received as a canon of Cloyne; that he for some time trafficked in salt, iron and other things; and that by publicly studying and teaching civil law in the schools he has become versed therein. The pope, therefore, (seeing that he has given up the said priory, rectory and fruits, or has been deprived of them, is ready to give up the said canonry, was publicly excommunicated on account of a res judicata, although he has been already absolved in foro conscientie, and is ready to come to an agreement with the adversaries at whose instance he was excommunicated, in respect of the matters about which he has not yet done so), hereby absolves him from the said excommunication of the res judicata and any other sentences of excommunication, suspension, interdict and irregularity, disability and infamy, even contracted by reason of such res judicata and other sentences, censures and pains, and far only as regards the taking effect of these presents, and, holding all his benefices and their values etc., and the time during which he has remained under excommunication by reason of the said res judicata, as being expressed by these presents, orders the above three to absolve him from apostasy, and from sentences of excommunication and other sentences, censures and pains aforesaid, enjoining penance etc., dispense him on account of any irregularity contracted, and rehabilitate him, and, in the event of their so doing, to receive him as a brother of the said house or monastery of St. James, given him the regular habit, etc., and receive his profession, and thereupon to collate and assign to him the said ministership or priorship, elective and with cure, value, with its annexes, 50 marks sterling. The pope hereby dispenses him to use the said character (i.e. of a clerk), and to be promoted to all, even holy orders, and receive and retain the said ministership or priorship, notwithstanding the said defect, etc. Solet apostolice sedis.
(CPL, 13.1 (1471 – 1475), 168)
1489: - 1489
6. Kal. Jan. (27 Dec.)
St. Peter’s, Rome (f. 185r.)
To John Appulgard, minister of the Trinitarian house of St. James, Athadard, in the diocese of Limerick, under the rule of St. Augustine. Collation, etc., as below. His recent petition contained that on the voidance of the ministership of the said house by the death of Eugene Offellain extra R.c., Robert Guagung, minister-general of the said Order, to whom by ancient custom the collation and provision of the said ministership belongs, made collation and provision thereof to the above John, who, however, has not had possession. The said petition adding that he fears lest the said collation and provision do not hold good, and it being alleged that the said ministership is still void as above, the pope hereby makes his collation and provision of the said ministership, which is conventual, is wont to be held by friars of the said Order, of whom he is one, having made his profession, and has cure of souls, wont to be exercised by a perpetual vicar, and whose yearly value does not exceed 54 marks sterling; and with mandate executor, hereby, to the bishops of Limerick and Clonfert, and Richard Waryng, a canon of Limerick. Religionis zelus, vite etc.
(CPL, 14 (1484 – 1492), 259
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.
+ 17 minor events. Show minor events
People associated with this site
John Maclanchay , Abbot
14 Printed sourcesshow sources
'The Limerick area: Proceedings of the 142nd Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute, 1996' The Archaeological Journal 153 (1997)
Burke, W. P., 'Wexford and Other Chalices' The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth Series, Vol. 8, No. 3 (1898)
Christie, R. W., 'Chief rents belonging to the Earl of Kildare in the Manor of Adare' The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 9 (1899)
Dunraven, Caroline, Countess of, and Edwin WIndham Wyndhm-Quin, Third Earl of Dunraven, 'Memorials of Adare ManorMemorials of Adare manor, by Caroline, Countess of Dunraven. With historical notices of Adare, by her son, the Earl of Dunraven.' (London 1865)
Ffrench, J. F. M., 'A Notice of Some County Wexford and Other Chalices' The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth Series, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1898)
Gwynn, Aubrey and Hadcock, Neville, 'Medieval Religious Houses of Ireland' 1 vols
Harpur, Anthony, 'The Architectural Development of Holy Trinity Abbey, Adare, in the Nineteenth Century' Unpublished MA Thesis, University of Limerick, 2010
Hewson, G. J., 'Adare and some of its ancient buildings' Limerick Field Club 1 (1907)
Hewson, R. F., 'Notes on the old churches in Adare.' The North Munster Antiquarian Journal Vol. VII, No. 2 pp.53-56
Hill, Judith, 'Gothic in post-Union Ireland: the uses of the past in Adare, Co. Limerick' The Irish Country House: its past, present and future ed.Dooley, Terence and Ridgeway, Christopher(Dublin 2011) pp.58 - 89
Murphy, A., 'Bridgett (Rev. T.E.) C. SS. R.: Historical notes on Adare. (Reviewed by A. Murphy).' The Irish ecclesiastical record: a monthly journal under episcopal sanction Ser. 3, Vol. VI (1886, March) pp.287
NicGhabhann, Niamh, 'Reconstructions of the Gothic Past: Ruins and the Improving Landlord in the Early Nineteenth-Century Ireland' Gothic Legacies: Four Centuries of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture ed.Cleaver, Laura and Lepine, Ayla(Newcastle Upon Tyne 2012) pp.182 - 205
Westropp, Thomas Johnson, 'A Survey of the Ancient Churches in the County of Limerick' Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 25 (1904/1905) pp.327-480, i
Whelan, Kevin, 'Irish Estate Towns: Adare, Co. Limerick' Newsletter, 2 (Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement) (1994)
National Library of Ireland, 'Acknowledgment by the Guardian and Convent of Adare of of a bequest of Renalda O'Brien', (Document), (View website)
National Library of Ireland, '[Collection of watercolour drawings by Mr Cuthboart]', (Document), (View website)
Images of this site
Aisle and tower (medieval fabric), with nineteenth-century main nave and porch, Trinitarian foundation, Adare
Chancel (part of ninteenth-century restoration and rebuilding), A.W.N. Pugin designs, Trinitarian foundation, Adare
Exterior, west end of church, with nineteenth-century school buildings in the background, Trinitarian foundation, Adare
View of nave, looking towards the east (nineteenth-century restoration and rebuilding), Trinitarian foundation, Adare
Limerick, OSI Grid:R4655246191
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