The Medieval Augustinian Priory of Ballyboggan Co. Meath near Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath



Air photo of Ballyboggan Priory, Co. Meath.

On the R401 road between Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath and Edenderry, Co. Offaly and about 6km from Kinnegad on the northern bank of the River Boyne is Ballyboggan Priory. Ballyboggan is one of the less well known Augustinian Priories of Ireland but was an important pilgrimage shrine. The priory is entered through a sub-rectangular walled graveyard on the west side of the road.

The Augustinian Priory of De Laude Dei was founded at Ballyboggan in the twelfth century by Jordan Comin. The Priory was burnt in 1446 and subsequently rebuilt. The Annals of the Four Masters record that in 1447 the Prior of Ballyboggan was killed by the plague. In 1537 the Priory was suppressed by King Henry VIII and the Abbey and lands of over 5,000 acres were granted to Sir William Bermingham who later became Lord Carberry. Ballyboggan had a wooden cross and was an important pilgrimage shrine in the Medieval period. The Annals of Ulster record that in 1538, following the dissolution of the Priory, the cross of Ballyboggan was burnt along with the image of Mary at Trim.

All that remains of the Abbey today is a long and narrow nave and chancel church with part of the south transept with pointed lancet windows. There is a large gap where the walls have been removed near the east end of the church, so that the church now forms two separate structures. There is a large east window, windows in the north and south walls and doorways in the north and south walls. At the western end of the north wall is a pointed doorway. The west gable, which has been mostly removed, has traces of a large window. A raised rectangular platform to the south of the church may be the remains of the cloister. The priory is surrounded by a large probably contemporary field system.

View of the eastern chancel end of Ballyboggan Priory, Co. Meath.



Google maps image of the location of Ballyboggan Priory, Co. Meath.



GPS coordinates 53.411041,-7.042601

 
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