St. Mary’s Abbey is one of Dublin’s best kept secrets. It was once the wealthiest Cistercian Abbey in Ireland. Today only two rooms remain – the Chapter House and the Slype.
The Abbey, founded in 1139, played a large role in the affairs of the state until its dissolution by Henry VIII in 1539. It was in the Chapter House that “Silken” Thomas Fitzgerald started his unsuccessful rebellion in 1534 and it is in this context that the Abbey is mentioned in the “Wandering Rocks” chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce.
Today it contains a fascinating exhibition put together by the Office of Public Works along with the Dublin Archaeological Society and the History of Art Department of Trinity College, Dublin.
The Abbey is closed until further notice. It is normally open from 4 June-26 September on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.00 am-5.00 pm.
Meetinghouse Lane, Off Capel Street, Dublin 1.
Tel: 01- 6476000 (Noreen Finnegan).