160 pages, 325 illustrations (plans, map, b&w photos)
More than 300 monastic houses existed in Ireland by the early 16th century. Remains still stand of over 200, all included in this book. Most of them are freely accessible ruins in graveyards, although eleven former monastic churches are still roofed and in use.
The common monastic plan with a cruciform church and various domestic buildings arranged around a square cloister arrived in Ireland with the Cistercians in the mid 12th century. Some of the many houses of Augustinian regular canons had layouts similar to smaller Cistercian Abbeys. Others were small and poor with simple nave-and-chancel churches without a cloister or full layout of domestic buildings built of stone. Other orders represented by monastic remains in Ireland include Benedictine monks, the Knights Templar, the Knights Hospitaller, and Premonstratensian regular canons.
Half of all Irish medieval monasteries were houses of the various orders of friars. The earliest Irish friaries were mostly in English-speaking towns, but in the late medieval period many new friaries, most of them Franciscan, were founded in the rural Gaelic-speaking areas of Munster, Connacht and the western part of Ulster (Donegal).
Available as a separate item (add £2.50 for postage) or as part of a five-volume monastic sites set for £40, including postage.