After visiting the church and graveyard I was trying to figure out the best approach for getting to the two mounds which I new little about at the time. I could have jumped the graveyard wall and made my way across the field but it looked to be private farmland and I could not make out any right of way. Whilst pondering my next move I was approached by two ladies, one of whom as luck would have it was the owner of the said farmlands. I guess at first they seemed to be concerned as to who the stranger prowling around with a camera was. After introducing myself and explaining what I was up to, they became friendly and we had a good chat about the area and I even got a few tips on similar sites in the area to visit. You just cant beat local knowledge when ruin hunting and most locals will warm to what you are doing once they talk to you in my experience. Apparently a group of lads from FAS, the national employment agency used to come out and cut the grass and generally keep the graveyard in good condition. But the lady reckoned that with all the cutbacks this activity had been knocked on the head.
I was invited through the farmyard and shown the best way across the field and avoid the hidden river. I was even told not to worry about the livestock as their were no Bulls in the field. It doesn’t get much better than this. There are two mounds behind the graveyard, on the left there is what is believed to have been the Castro Petre or Peters Castle. The current remains are of a dove-cot or pigeon house as it is now called, and is basically a pile of rubble lying on top of what looks more like a fairy mound that a Motte. I wonder was the original fortification built on the site of a burial mound or Tumulus? Unfortunatly our National Monuments people don’t seem to have explored the area in enough depth to ascertain this or not.
The mound on the right is the runs of the Franciscan Friary founded in 1325AD by the Earl of Louth , John De Bermingham. The name of the friary, Monasteroris comes from the Irish version of the name, , the monastery of the son of Feorais. Feorais is the Gaelicised version of Pierce the father of the founder, John de Bermingham. Some people say that John had the Friary built to detract sentiment in the area over the massacre by his father of 32 local chieftains and a young boy on the day of his communion at the nearby Carrick Castle. Records show that the friary was severely damaged during a siege by the Lord Lieutenant in 1521. The friary was said to have been a fine example of a castellated monastery because of its defenses. Hence why the O’Connors whom were the main Gaelic clan of this area were said to have used the friary as a fort. Now only parts of the north wall still stands with grass covered banks and foundations. Like the previous port on the Church & Graveyard there are surprisingly very little details about the sites in Monasteroris which is a shame considering its age and the amount of history available on other nearby sites.