Jerpoint Abbey (June 12)

The second place we visited on this very busy day was this Abbey completed about 1180. It is known for its elaborate carvings. It is located in a beautiful site and once controlled twenty thousand(!) acres of land. It flourished until good old Henry VIII enacted the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Jerpoint’s outstanding feature is the 15th century cloister arcade that hosts its array of carved images unique in Cistercian architecture. The series of standing images include saints, mythical animals, clerics, secular figures and symbols of the passion.

This is one of two sculpted tombs in the north transepts by the well known O’Tunney’s of Callan.

Depicted are Peter, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, Simon, Philip, Bartholomew and Jude. Each is holding something recognizably associated with him, e.g., Peter with a key.

Not sure why, but we haven’t seen many crucifixes.

The three larger openings in the wall of the apse are for officiants to sit during the service. The two smaller openings are for the wine for communion.

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