The High Crosses of Duiske Abbey

Duiske High Crosses (1)

Im really excited about this post as it is the beginning for me of exploring a new county. Duiske Abbey, also sometimes known as Graiguenamanagh Abbey rests in the middle of the nice little town of Graiguenamanagh at the foot of Brandon hill in Kilkenny. Now a National Monument, The Abbey originated in the 13th century as the church of a Cistercian monastery that was founded by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke in 1204AD. It was said to have been one of the finest Cistercian monasteries in medieval Ireland. The Abbey gets its name from the Douskey River, (An Dubhuisce meaning Black Water in Gaelic). It was not until three years later that monks began to arrive here from Stanley in Wiltshire.

Entrance to the Graveyard

Entrance to the Graveyard

Duiske High Crosses (3)

Ballyogan High Cross

As was the case with many religious sites across Ireland the Abbey was suppressed by Henry in 1535 and the last abbot, a Charles O’Cavanagh resigned his post. Many monks continued to live here, but the lands were given to a James Butler and the Abbey soon fell into ruin. The Abbey church however continued to be used as a place of worship

Duiske High Crosses (4)

Aghakiltawn High Cross

Duiske High Crosses (5)

Now onto the purpose of this article, tucked away in the south corner of the graveyard, you will find two rather interesting granite high crosses which date back to the eight & ninth centuries, along with the base of a third which we know nothing about. Im not sure as to why, but both of these crosses were taken here from elsewhere.

Duiske High Crosses (6)

Duiske High Crosses (7)

The north cross came from Ballyogan and its carvings look quite similar to the North & South High Crosses at Castledermot. The south cross came from Aghakiltawn and looks to be the older of the two with a crucifixion scene on the west face. The north cross has carvings which depict scenes from the Book of Genesis including the sacrifice of Isaac, David with a Harp and the Crucifixion of Christ. There are some nice geometric patterns carved into the north and south sides of the shaft.

Duiske High Crosses (8)

Duiske High Crosses (9)

A Medieval Font

The last tragedy occurred in 1744, when the tower collapsed into the nave. It later underwent some renovations while serving as a place of worship for the Protestant Church of Ireland, returned to the Catholic community in 1812. Duiske Abbey was fully restored 1980’s.

Duiske High Crosses (10)

To see more of these images, why not visit my Website or join me on Facebook or Twitter.


About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
This entry was posted in Diary of a Ruinhunter, Photography, Religious Sites and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The High Crosses of Duiske Abbey

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Great pictures of the crosses.. it isn’t easy to get the carved scenes when they have been weathered for over a thousand yesr. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Paul Fears Photography and commented:
    Love the image. Looks a great place to be really creative.


  3. feralc4t says:

    Oops, Nice one 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great crosses and great shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul Cahill says:

    Really enjoyed this post along with the history.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bamauthor says:

    exquisite photos……

    Liked by 1 person

  7. New locations are fun. Nice work Ed!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks great, makes me feel great… you did again, good sir… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Karen says:

    These are beauties! Love the shots and your background info really adds to the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As always, good stuff! Thanks for sharing. The entrance to the graveyard picture is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. apothecarytravels says:

    Photos are brilliant. Particularly like the last one of the cemetery. It looks like the people have risen from the dead….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. absolutely fantastic shots!! This looks like a wonderful site!!


  13. Pingback: Kildare High Cross | Ed Mooney Photography

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