New Abbey Effigial Tomb

Roland Eustace/Margaret d'Artois

Roland Eustace of Harristown, AKA Rowland FitzEustace 1430-1496, was the son of Sir Edward FitzEustace, Lord Deputy of Ireland and his wife Alicia. Roland, a trained barrister, was appointed Chief Clerk to the Kings Bench in 1454 and quickly became Lord Treasurer. He was knighted in 1459, by Edward IV, and elevated to Baron Portlester in 1462. After his first marriage to Elizabeth Brune, he married Joanna Bellew in 1463, the widow of Christopher Plunket, 2nd Baron of Killeen. His third and final marriage came in 1467 when he married the widow of Sir John Dowdall, Margaret d'Artois. Roland and Margaret founded New Abbey at Kilcullen in 1486. The Baron and his daughter Alison are buried here, but Margaret may have been buried at St Audoens in Dublin, where there is superb second double-effigial tomb on display. Roland built the 'Portlester Chapel' at St Audoens in 1482. Other sites associated with the Baron include, Coghlanstown Church and St John's Church in Ballymore Eustace, where there is another effigy of a Eustace Knight.

Margaret and Roland FitzEustace

Also present in the graveyard is a side panel from the Eustace tomb, partly pictured above. From left to right it features St Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Child, St Margaret of Antioch and possibly St Brigid.

Situated: From Kilcullen head east on the R413. After 1 kilometre take a sharp left to New Abbey and park at the cemetery. The effigial tomb is on your left through the gate.

Discovery Map 55: N 8463 0931. Last visit Feb 2018.

Longitude: 6° 44' 8" W

Latitude: 53° 7' 39" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey and José Gutiérrez.

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