Holycross Abbey Guided Tours

Holycross is undoubtedly one of the ecclesiastical jewels of Ireland.

Holycross Abbey Guided Tours

Holycross is undoubtedly one of the ecclesiastical jewels of Ireland. The 12th century Cistercian Abbey was an important place of pilgrimage and prayer for centuries.
Visitors from far and wide came to venerate the relic of the True Cross. The Butlers of Ormond made their mark here when they sponsored a renewal of the abbey in the 1400s.
Many of the beautiful architectural features including the intricate ribbed stone vaulted ceilings, the sedilia, the hunting scene mural and the waking monks’ bier, date from this period.

Painstaking restoration during the 1970s brought the abbey back to life as a working church.
The restored Holycross Abbey is unique. It has a great mix of features that blend well together.
It has the widest range of window patterns and tracery of any medieval building. No two windows are the same.
The Sedilia and Waking Bier draw superlatives from the experts. Roger Stalley in his book on the Cistercians describes them as "the finest piece of church furnishing in medieval Ireland”.
They are the highpoint in Cistercian art in stone. The Relic of the Cross was probably displayed in the waking bier. It drew pilgrims from far and wide since the foundation in 1182 AD.
The sanctuary and the north transept have the finest ribbing of the period.
A 750 years old bell, called Michael, is reputedly the oldest church bell in Ireland and hangs in the belfry.
It has the only surviving medieval chapter house doorway in Ireland. There is also a whispering arch. The arcading of the cloister is beautifully executed.
There is plenty more here in stone, folklore, legend and history.

A guided tour of Holycross Abbey is available every Wednesday and Sunday at 2:00 pm and also by prior arrangement

Location: 
Address: 
c/o Cabragh Wetlands
Holycross
Tipperary
Phone: 
+353 (0)86 166 5869
Category: