ABBEYMAHON Location: nr Timoleague County:
Cork Foundation: 1172 Mother house:
Baltinglass Relocation: - 1278 Founder: Dermot
MacCormac MacCarthy Dissolution: 1541 Prominent members:
Access: Accessible to the public
Abbeymahon was founded in 1172 by Dermot MacCormac MacCarthy,
king of Desmond. The site was originally at Aghamanister and was
with a group of monks from Baltinglass.
Almost a century lapsed before the monks of Aghamanister decided
to move to a new site;
it is possible that the time had come to renew the abbey buildings
and the monks took the opportunity to find a more spacious site.
The monks had moved to Abbeymahon by 1278, when Diarmait MacCarthaig,
son of Domnall Cairbrech, was buried in the ‘new monastery’.
The new site was on the estuary of the Argideen River, just over
a mile east south-east of Timoleague, on the road to Courtmacsherry.
The abbots of Abbeymahon were rebuked several times in the thirteenth
century for not attending the General
Chapter when summoned. It
is not surprising that the abbots refused to attend considering
that the journey was extremely lengthy and expensive. In the taxation
of 1302-06 the income of the abbey was valued at £4, which
would hardly have covered the cost of the journey. The annual
of the abbey during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was still
a meager amount, estimated at just £18, with a potential
income of £34 during peace time. At the time of the Dissolution
it was found that the abbey church was functioning as the parish
and that all other buildings were being used by the local farmer.
In 1568 the property was leased to the Viscount Barrymore and
1584 the lease was transferred to Nicholas Walsh, Justice of Munster.
The site was granted for ever to Nicholas Walsh in 1587, with
additional place names appearing on this grant. The remains consist
largely of the east end of the church and some remnants of