The Grey Abbey, Kildare, Ireland

Three Abbeys were established in and around Kildare Town in the 13th century, they were known as the Grey Abbey, the Black Abbey and the White Abbey. The Grey Abbey lies to the south of the town and is in quite a ruinous state. It was erected by Lord William De Vesci for the Franciscan Friars around 1260, the term the ‘Grey Abbey’ referred to the colour of the habit that the monks wore. The Abbey was completed by Lord Offaly Gerald Fitz Maurice, who died in 1286 and was interred in the graveyard. John Fitz Thomas, the first Earl of Kildare was buried at the Grey Abbey in 1316. Three other Earls from the same lineage were also buried there. The abbey thrived under the Fitzgeralds and was in use until it was suppressed in 1539. Buttresses were added to the north wall in the 14th century and its believed that the east and west windows may have been inserted in the 15tth century. Several Earls of Kildare are known to be buried in the graveyard. The structure is quite precarious but it does appear a lot of work has been done over the past couple of years to remove some of the Ivy on the Abbey walls.

GPS: 53.15308, -6.91411

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