We say goodbye to Lough Boora – leave two beach stones from home, for sons emigrated
We travel northwards and land at the recently restoration Abbey at Boyle.
This glass structure replicates an Elizabethan lean-to addition, when the abbey was converted to a barracks in 1592 Prior to that, Cistercians founded the abbey around 1161. Respecting Celtic monastic buildings they joined their abbey to this now stump of a round tower
Before restoration, old Lime mortar was sent off for analysis and matched as closely as possible by French Lime.
It is thought the church took about sixty years to complete with the final section being finished in around 1226
Little remains of the cloister due to besigement by Cromwellians in 1648
But the scale and majesty of this place can’t fail to impress – indeed it is one of the most formidable of the Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland
The design – influenced by styles from Burgundy from whence the Cistercians came to Ireland – is in the form of a Latin cross, about forty meters long and twenty meters wide, oriented east-west, with the choir and altar at the east end
Of special interest are the decorated corbels and capitals – believed to be the work of local masons.
Among the most mysterious and intriguing is the so-called ‘green man’ – positioned opposite to the “Door of the Dead” – where after mass they carried out the bodies of monks who had died. It looks like a strange mask.
Diagonally opposing the ‘death door’ and quite difficult to spot, perched high upon her cylindrical pillar
That most special kind of Irish woman – ‘Sheela na gig’
4 thoughts on “The Abbey of Boyle”
Lovely article Louise, great photos.
Thanks Eddie & what a fantastic restoration by the OPW, considering that whole side wall (where the glass now joins) was leaning sideways!
Your dress is in perfect synch with the interior, your visage glowing forth. And those carvings on the plinths, very evocative!
It seems that the site of the abbey, which was gifted to the Cistercians, was prior a sacred pagan site as indicated by the presence of the Síle na gcíoch and other raucous carvings, but also a sun wheel carving which was tucked away in the small museum.