Jerpoint Abbey, Co. Kilkenny

One of my favourites…

Around Ireland

cloister arcade at Jerpoint to church
Rumour has it the remains of St. Nicholas (yes, that one) are buried near the abbey at Jerpoint. Rumour, and a guidebook or two. Supposedly, according to the story, the knights from Jerpoint Abbey were in Turkey during the Crusades, and while retreating, removed his body from Myra in modern-day Turkey and re-buried it at the Church of St. Nicholas west of the abbey.

Jerpoint Abbey is a spectacular Cistercian abbey dating back to the 12th century, and a wonderful place to have a good wander around. Founded around 1158, the original settlement at the abbey was set up by the King of Ossory, Donal MacGillapatrick, for Benedictine monks. By 1180, the Benedictines had lost favour, and Cistercian monks were brought in from Baltinglass to take over the abbey. The church with its Romanesque details dates from this period. According to our guide, the Cistercians were essentially a breakaway group…

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