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St. Mary's Abbey is a medieval monastery and National Monument located in Duleek, Ireland.[1]

St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Mainistir Mhuire
Tower of St. Mary's Church, Duleek - - 757989.jpg
Tower, 15th century
St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek is located in Ireland
St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Location within Ireland
Monastery information
OrderCanons Regular (Arrouaisian)
Mother houseClonard Abbey
Dedicated toMary, mother of Jesus
Founder(s)Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath
Heritage designation
Official nameDuleek Church
Reference no.179
LocationCommons, Duleek, County Meath
Coordinates53°39′18″N 6°25′08″W / 53.655069°N 6.418806°W / 53.655069; -6.418806
Public accessyes


St. Mary's Abbey is located in the central part of Duleek called the Commons, between Main Street and Church Lane. The Nanny River is to the southwest.


A monastery stood in Duleek from the 5th century. A round tower stood here; it was damaged by lightning in 1147 but survived a few more centuries.[2]

In 1180 Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath granted Duleek (including St. Patrick's Church) to the Canons Regular. However, the surviving buildings are later: the southern arcade is 13th century, the southern aisle and bell tower are 15th century and the main tower and the east gable with window are 16th century. The abbey was shut down in the 1537 Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The Abbey was later used for burials. James Cusack, Catholic Bishop of Meath 1679–88, was buried in an effigial tomb. Also buried here is John Bellew, 1st Baron Bellew of Duleek who died of wounds received at the Battle of Aughrim. Saint Kienan's, a Church of Ireland church, was built next to the old abbey in 1816.[3][4]


All that remains is the south aisle and the tower. The tower survives with four stories with quoins, battered walls, battlements, aumbry and stairs turret.[5] The east window (bearing the arms of Sir John Bellew and Dame Ismay Nugent beneath it) is a 1587 post-Gothic replacement.[6][7]

In the north wall of the medieval belfry is the scar or shadow of a round tower.[5]


  1. ^ Andrew Halpin; Conor Newman (2006). Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide to Sites from Earliest Times to AD 1600. Oxford University Press. pp. 288–9. ISBN 978-0-19-280671-0.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "St Mary's Abbey, Duleek, Meath".
  4. ^ "Travelmania Ireland - High Cross and St Mary's Augustinian Abbey, Duleek, County Meath".
  5. ^ a b,, (6 December 2012). "ME02070 - COMMONS (Duleek Lower By.) - Church -".CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. ^ "Duleek - St Mary's Abbey and St. Cianan's Church".
  7. ^ Past, Ed Hannon-Visions of the (9 February 2013). "St Mary's Abbey, Meath, Ireland".