Selskar Abbey

12th century Augustinian Canons Regular

Founded by Alexander de la Roche St Selskars late 12th century church was dedicated to SS Peter and Paul. It operated as a Priory for the Augustinian Canons Regular. Some evidence points to it being a Pre-Norman church. It is not known where the name Selskar came from but it may have derived from the Norse word "Skar" meaning rock. The Church had two naves divided by the four pointed arches, pictured in the image above. The image was taken from the west end of the northern 30 metre long church. Nothing remains of the east wall and little remains of the south wall.

The west wall, shown in the large image below, had two large decorated windows, but most of the stonework is now missing. The abbey was suppressed in 1541. Located at the west end of the northern nave is a medieval sarcophagus, pictured at the bottom of the page. During the late middle ages, the now Parish church, was fortified with a tower at the eastern end of the southern nave. The tower was beautifully built using dressed chamfered Dundry Stone as quoins. The rest of the stone work is dressed granite. Located in an arched recess of west wall there is a 17th century armorial crest and a medieval graveslab

From the south

Fortified tower and later church

Also situated high up on the west wall are the two head carvings pictured below. The tower can be entered through a modern doorway in the nave of the 19th century church, built at the east end of the medieval church. The gate to this church was locked during my visit as was the abbey.

Looking through a west window at the fortified tower

Head on the west wall of the tower

A second head on the west wall of the tower

Situated: From Wexford train station head west on Station Road (R730). After 125 metres it bends right and changes to Westgate. Selskar abbey is fifty metres up here on your left beyond westgate.

Discovery Map 77: T 0455 2218. Last visit Mar 2014.

Longitude: 6° 27' 57" W

Latitude: 52° 20' 29" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Medieval sarcophagus

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