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Fermoy (Abbey)

also known as: Mainistir Fhear Maí; Castrum Dei

Order: Cistercian

Name of Foundation: Fermoy
Dedicated to: Blessed Virgin Mary
Affiliated to: Daughter house of Innislounaught , Co. Tipperary (f. 1151) This affiliation was changed following the Conspiracy of Mellifont, when it became a daughter-house of Furness.

Barony: Fermoy
Civil Parish: Fermoy
Townland: Fermoy (Mainistir Fhear Maí)
Access: No extant remains.

Site Description: Mervyn Archdall described the site in 1786: ‘the church of the abbey, now the parish church, was a mean Gothic building’. The building was demolished in 1804 and the materials were used to construct the present town. It has been suggested that a pointed stone arch incorporated into the property boundary on the N side of McCurtin Street may be part of the abbey. A font located in the Fermoy Church of Ireland is also thought to be from the abbey.

No fragments of the abbey remain - At the time of the Dissolution the annual income of the abbey was valued at just £2, with a peace time potential of £24. In 1541 the royal commissioners found that the abbey church had been in use as a parish church for some time and that all the other monastic buildings were being used by the local farmer. Following the Dissolution the abbey and its lands passed through various dynasties, including those of Viscount Rote of Fermoy, Sir Richard Grenville and Robert Boyle. The last traces of the abbey perished after the foundation of the town by the Scottish merchant John Anderson in 1791. The monastery was positioned on the south side of the Blackwater River and is marked by a road named ‘Abbey Street’.

Bibliographical sources

1 Printed sources

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Related articles on Monastic Ireland

2. Letter from Stephen of Lexington regarding the redistribution of the houses previously affiliated to Maigue (Letter 77), Extract from Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229 (translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O\'Dwyer), Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982
Letter from Stephen of Lexington to the Council of Abbots (Letter 22), Extract from Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229 (translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O\'Dwyer), Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982

Cork, OSI Grid:W8102998438
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