This Abbey is noted for it’s excellent stone carvings on cloister pillars and grave boxes/tombs.

Jerpoint Abbey was originally Benedictine and established in 1160 but by 1180 the Cistercian Monks were installed at the Abbey.

The cloister walls are unusual as they have carvings on both sides of the uprights along each of the pillars. We noticed that in most other Abbeys there were no carvings or the carvings had been defaced by Cromwell’s men.

The carvings are beautiful and varied and depict knights and ladies in the dress of the day. There is even a man with a stomach ache depicted.

In this carving of a Lady you can also see another figure looking down on her from above.

A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol associated with their life, these are known as attributes and help to identify them. The weepers in the image above are believed to be six of the apostles each with their own attribute that may represent the way they were martyred. from the left , St John with a Chalice, St Thomas with a lance, St Simon with a saw, St Bartholomew with skin, it is believed he was flayed, St Paul the apostle holding a sword, and St Matthew with an axe. (from Megalithic Ireland). This picture shows the last four apostles and their attributes.

What is really interesting — we saw the identical figures with attributes at Cashel and Hore Abbey which is situated right below Cashel. The above carvings are really detailed and show little wear as they were protected from the elements.

Tomb Effigies were also well preserved and really interesting to see. We wondered about the lives of the monks who lived here and the benefactors who were buried here.

Jerpoint Abbey is one of the many sites accessible using your Heritage Card. We also had a great tour here with an extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide.

After our Bread Making Class and the visit to the Abbey we were ready for dinner so headed into Thomastown where we hoped to eat at Bassett’s Restaurant which our cooking class recommended. We got there as they were setting up and they were fully booked. However, they would make space for us, if we could come back in half an hour. We did and they did.

This area in Ireland was noted for their beef so we ordered some and it was DELICIOUS.

Also had a lovely crab salad to start. The food here is really excellent. No wonder it’s always full.

Another great day in Ireland.

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