Lislaughtin Abbey is located approximately one mile north of Ballylongford Village. In ruins now, it is a Franciscan Friary that was founded in 1475 by John O’Connor Kerry. The Friary is believed to have been built on the site of an earlier church dedicated to St. Lachtin of Muskerry who died in 622 AD. Up to the late 16th century, the Friary was one of the more important religious institutions in Kerry, so much so that a chapter of the Order was held there in 1507.
After the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, it is evident that there were still monks at Lislaughtin. In 1580, the Abbey was besieged by the Elizabethan forces and three friars who had not fled were clubbed to death before the high alter. The Friars returned to the Abbey in 1629 before the Cromwellian wars brought this part of it’s history to an end.
Lislaughtin Abbey consists of a long house divided into choir and nave – the collapsed square tower was over the choir arch. The windows are all pointed and of cut limestone. Recessed in the south wall is a triple sedilla, stone seats for the priests and ministers. The two storey building, which held the refectory and dormitory, was reached from the church by a door in the north wall. This building was lit by 30 windows. To the north east of this building is a structure which was probably the garderobe (toilet).
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