Project Description

Duiske Abbey

Open all year round, Monday to Friday, 10.00 am-5.00 pm; closed weekends

Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny – Tel: +353 (0)59 9724238

Duiske Abbey, now the Catholic parish church, but once the church of a 13th century Cistercian monastery, founded in 1204, the remains of which have been incorporated into the building. The name derives from the Gaelic for Black Water – dubh uisce – a river that joins the Barrow a little downstream of the abbey. Duiske Abbey, the largest of Irish Cistercian monastery churches and whose buildings encompassed much of the town, began to fall apart in 1536 when it was suppressed. Although the monks continued to occupy it for many years, it gradually fell into ruin. The last tragedy was in 1744, when the tower collapsed into the nave. However, the debris from the tower was smoothed over to create a new floor and the west end was re-roofed to make a place of worship for the Protestant Church of Ireland. In 1812 the church was returned to the Catholic community and the long work of restoration began – to be completed finally in the 1980’s.