KILBEGGAN Location: Kilbeggan town County:
Westmeath Foundation: 1150 Mother house:
Mellifont Relocation: None Founder: MacCoghlan
family Dissolution: 1539 Prominent members:
Access: No remains
Kilbeggan was founded in 1150 and colonized with monks from Mellifont.
It is thought that the founder was a member of the MacCoghlan
the chief family in the district. The site had previously been
occupied by an early Irish monastery, founded by St. Beccan in
or sixth century. The Latin name of the abbey follows a straightforward
religious formula, Benedicto Dei, 'the blessing
of God'. O’Catharnaigh, the great priest of Clonmacnois,
died at the abbey in 1196 and Melaghlin MacCoghlan, prince of Devlin,
died in pilgrimage to the abbey in 1213. In 1217, the abbey was
involved in the ‘riot of Jerpoint’ and the abbot
was duly punished for his involvement. Following
(1216-1228) the Irish Cistercian houses were reorganized and Kilbeggan
was made subject to Buildwas. Hugh
O’Malone, bishop of Clonmacnois,
was buried in the abbey in 1236.
At the time of Dissolution the
annual income of the abbey was valued at £13, making it one
of the poorest Cistercian abbeys in Ireland. The abbey was dissolved
in 1539 and the property was later granted to the Lambert family.
In the eighteenth century, the ruins were replaced by a Protestant
church. Today there are no visible remains of the abbey and the
site is now occupied by the ruins of the Protestant church.