Augustinian Friary

I had wanted to visit Callan for quite awhile, so after taking in a few sites in Kilkenny City, I took the short drive to the town. It proved to be a great decision, the abbey was glowing in evening light. Although Edmund Butler (d.1464), a grandson of James III, successfully petitioned Pope Pious II to establish a Friary here in 1461, the Friary was probably founded by his son James Butler (d.1487) Lord Deputy of Ireland, who was buried here. The Friary was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1540. It was later held by the 9th Earl of Ormond, James Butler (d. 1546).

This is a rectangular building with a central tower. A large arch in the north wall, pictured above, may have led to a transept. The decorated doorway, in the west gable, features hood moulding. The entrance gate was locked during my visit, so I was unable to see the beautifully decorated triple sedelia in the south wall, next to it is a fine piscina. I will try to find information regarding access.

Central Tower

Decorated doorway

From the south-west

Situated: The Friary is located on Abbey Meadows at the north east side of the town, 65 metres north of Callan Holy Well.

Discovery Map 67: S 4156 4400. Last visit Sept 2017.

Longitude: 7° 23' 14" W

Latitude: 52° 32' 45" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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