Ballybeg Priory, near Buttevant, Co. Cork
When travelling south from Buttevant on the main Limerick to Cork road (N20) you pass, to the east of the road, the remains of the Medieval Priory of Ballybeg.

A view of one of the the towers at Ballybeg Priory.

In 1229 Philip de Barry, nephew of William FitzStephen, who had been granted the cantreds of Olethan, afterwards, Muskerry Donegan and Killede by his uncle, founded Ballybeg Priory for the canons regular of St. Augustine dedicated to St. Thomas. There was once an equestrian statue of Philip de Barry in the church.

The Priory remained in use for just over 300 years before it was dissolved in 1541. An inquisition at the time found that the Priory had demesne lands of 80 acres and the lands of Ballybeg, 120 acres, were occupied by Thomas Pyndregast. The ruins of the Priory consist of a church which was built in the thirteenth century which has a tower that was added in the fifteenth century, cloister and claustral range. In the later Medieval period the Priory was fortified and there are two towers that date from this period. To the south-east of the church is one of the best-presereved dove-cots or Columbarium in Ireland. The site is a National Monument in the ownership of the Irish State.

A view of the well preserved dove-cot at Ballybeg Priory.

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GPS coordinates 52.217441,-8.666067

Further reading
White. N.B. 1943. Extents of Irish Monastic Possessions 1540-41. Dublin.

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