13th century Augustinian Abbey

It is traditionally believed that St Brogan founded an ecclesiastic site at Mothel during the 6th century. It is said he was succeeded by St Cuan. The early christian foundation may have been sited at St Cuan's Well, two kilometres north of here, but there is an early cross-slab in this graveyard and an early cross pillar stands just 60 metres south of here. It is not known when the Augustinians moved to Mothel, the foundation may be pre-norman.

What remains of the church today are dated to the 13th century. They consist of a small fragment of the west gable and a good portion of the south wall. In the wall are, a two light pointed window, and a doorway high up on the wall. The low foundations of a transept stretch out from the south wall. Also scattered around the graveyard are a few architectural fragments. In a fenced off burial plot to the north east of the church there is a 15th century graveslab decorated with a beautiful cross. A latin inscription tells us it is the graveslab of a Richard Power who died in 1483. The Abbey was dissolved in 1540. Also found in the area of the possible transept are the side panels of a tomb chest, see below for details.

Two light window

Possible transept.

Pictured above is the west side of the tomb chest, bearing six carved figures. From left to right they represent, Christ the King, a monk, the Virgin and Child, followed by St Michael the Archangel with scales, to weigh the souls, St Peter, with the Key to Heaven and St Paul, who is carrying a book and a sword. The east panel bears, St James, St Mary of Antioch, St John the Baptist, St Catherine, with a wheel, Thomas of Canterbury and an unidentified saint. The end panel, pictured below, features two bishops and a monk. The other end panel features a crucifixion. A great site with a few hidden gems.

Situated: From Carrick-On-Suir head south on R676 for about 3kilometres. Then turn left at the fork, signed Mothel. The Abbey is 3.5 kilometres down here on your left.

Discovery Map 75: S 3967 1646. Last visit Apr 2018.

Longitude: 7° 25' 6" W

Latitude: 52° 17' 55" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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