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Athlone (Priory)

Order: Cluniac

Name of Foundation: SS. Peter and Paul
Dedicated to: SS. Peter and Paul
Affiliated to: Cluny

Barony: Brawny/ Breámhaine
Civil Parish: St. Mary's
Townland: Athlone South (Baile Átha Luain)

Main events in the history of this site

pre 1208Foundation - Athlone is the only Cluniac house in Ireland, situated on the Roscommon side of the Shannon. There is said to have been a very early monastery here, which may refer to Cloonowen. The priory de Innocentia, of St. Peter, also known as the priory of SS. Peter and Paul, was founded, according to tradition, by Turlogh O'Conor, high king of Ireland, c. 1150, with the first monks coming from France. No evidence has been found to confirm this, and the date may originate from mistakes of Alemand(v. ALS 196) who thought that there were two priories here, one of Benedictines, the other of Cistercians, confusing Athlone with God's Blessing (i.e. Kilbeggan, O.Cist, founded in 1150). The priory was in existence before 1208 - 10. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1214 - On 22 August, 1214, King John commanded Henry, archbishop of Dublin (then Justiciar), to cause the monks of Athlone to have a tenth part of the expense of the castle in that town, in exchange for their land in which the castle was situated, as the bishop of Norwich undertook when fortifying the castle. (CDI). John de Gray, bishop of Norwich, was Justiciar of Ireland between 1208 and 1210. (HBC),(Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1216 - In 1216, the prior was granted protection and further compensation for property which had been taken over. (CDI), (Med. religious houses, 110) 
1279 - In 1279, King Edward granted to the monastery the weirs and fisheries of Athlone, the toll of the bridge and eight acres at the rent of £12 (K(A)),(Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1402 - In 1402, the order of the priory is given as of Cluny, and a mandate was issued to accept Prior William's resignation and to appoint in his place Donatus Ocomoltaig (O'Tumulty). (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1410 - In 1410, the priory was valued at c. 100m, was void by the death of William Ochomultaig and Simon Macaedagan (MacEgan), prior of Rindown, was collated (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1412 - Raymond O'Kelly was collated to Athlone. (CPR), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1428 - In 1428, an indulgence was granted for the repair and conservation of the priory which was threatened with ruin on account of wars in those parts. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1430 - In 1430, Thomas O'Curneen succeeded as prior, and in a mandate of 1433, he is given as the prior of the Cluniac Priory of SS. Peter and Paul. He died in 1455 (ADF (A)), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1480 - In 1480, Prior Cornelius O'Nechean was accused by Nemeas O'Carneayn of allowing the monks to have private property, to leave the priory improperly, and of other offences (CPR), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
c.1542 - The friary was officially suppressed in c. 1542, but the monks appear to have remained until the reign of Elizabeth. Three neighbouring chapels, Cama, Kiltoom and Drayme, were served from time to time by the monks until the suppression. (K, (A)), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1567 - In 1567, a messuage , two cottages by the castle and an eel-weir, belonging to the late monastery of St. Peter of Athlone, with the friary of Bellaneeny, were leased to Edmund O'Fallon, of Athlone. (Egan), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 
1570 - 1572Destruction - In 1570, the Elizabethan government converted the church into a store and the conventual buildings into a house for John Croftan, Escheator General for Connacht. O'Conor Don with Irish and Scottish allies, angered by this desecration, burnt all the buildings in 1572. The monastery and its possessions were granted (c. 1589) to Sir Richard Bingham, Commissioner for Galway. (K (A)), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 111) 
1575 - 1587 - Other property of Athlone Priory included three mills, a castle etc., which were leased to the same O'Fallon in 1575, 1579 and 1587: fiants 3402, 3447, 5454. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 110) 

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Westmeath, OSI Grid:N0385341279