The Medieval church and graveyard of Monasteroris can be found just outside Edenderry in County Offally. This area was under the control of John De Bermingham, the Earl of Louth whom had a fortification just behind the walls of the graveyard. In 1335AD he invited the Franciscans to establinh a friary here. The current remains of the church are believed to date back to the establishment of the Franciscan settlement. Little remains of the church here, which has since become overgrown with ivy. In fact the entire graveyard has been severly neglected. Whilst exploring I felt that I was moving through a jungle such was the height of wild grass, shurbs and weeds. What is left of the church itself could nearly be missed. The ruins consist of a long rectangular church which was altered back in the 19th century with the insertion of three crypts. Also a railing was added into the east gable which destroyed the original window in the north splay which is still just about visable. There was also an external crypt added to the west gable. Several pieces of a traceried window along with two limestone punch dressed window jambs have been found in the graveyard
Within the nearby Protestant Episcopal church lies a stone tablet to the memory of Lady Sarah Blundell, formerly of Blundell Castle, who died in the year 1701, the stone was discovered in the ruins of the old church and was said to have been removed in 1814 by Mary Marchioness of Downshire. There was also a memorial that was recorded in 1890 as being the tombstone of one Winwood Blundell, son of George Blundell of Edenderry. This however would also appear to have been removed as it can no longer be accounted for. There is also mention of a octagonal shaped font from the medieval period with a circular basin which was also removed and now resides on a pillar at the back of the Roman Catholic church in Edenderry.
The graveyard contains a number of 17th century gravestones, including a modern cross erected to commemorate Fr. Mogue Kearns and Anthony Perry who were hanged at Edenderry for their part in the 1798 Insurrection. There is very little other information available on this site, and it is quite sad to see such a historic site being negnected. In my next post I shall visit two mounds which ly in pastural lands gto the rear of the surrounding wall of the graveyard. One being Castro Petre and the other the Franciscan Friary. With the De Berminghams controlling such vast lands in the area I have been able to visit quite a few Castles and the like, some of which I have posted previously. Carbury Castle and Teampall Do-Ath , Grange Castle, Mac Feorais Castle and Carrick Church are in County Kildare, while Blundell Castle, Kinnefad Castle, and Monasterois Monastery are in County Offaly.