Carlingford Priory, Louth, Ireland

Carlingford Priory was established some time in the 14th century and was under the patronage of the Earls of Ulster. Some sources state that Richard de Burgh founded the Friary in 1305 but evidence suggests that the lands were given to the friars in 1352 by inhabitants of the town.  It is suggested by documentation that the Friars may have been residing in Carlingford for a number of years as the grant states, ‘to the Dominican Friars of the town’. Once built the Friary was dedicated to St Malachy. In 1423 two towers were added to the northwest and southwest corners of the west gable, this gives the church its fortified appearance. Further rebuilding took place in the early 16th century and it remained in use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

In 1671 the abbey was to reopen but a dispute arose about which religious order owned the structure, the Franciscans or Dominicans. The Dominicans won out in a decision made by Oliver Plunkett but it is uncertain whether they returned to the abbey, or if they did for how long they remained there. Etchings from 1792 show the Priory to already be in a very ruinous state, the Dominicans relocated to Dundalk in 1777. The buildings were subsequently used as a barracks, a hall and a handball alley. Today the nave, chancel and bell-tower still exist along with some outbuildings.

GPS: 54.03812, -6.18473

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