Image taken Saturday 28th May 2011.
The abbey is situated on the east bank of the River Slaney on the North side of Baltinglass town. The six beautiful Gothic arches on either side of the nave, supported by alternate round and square pillars, are a noteworthy feature of the ruins.
In 1148 Dermot MacMurrough bought Cistercian monks here from Mellifont, to find a new monastery which he called “The Valley of Salvation”. In 1228 it is recorded that there were 36 monks and 50 lay brothers living there. The abbey ceased to function in the mid sixteenth century but fragments of the church and traces of the cloister (a walk way forming a square) survive. The church consisted of the nave with ails, chancel and two tapestries (the part of the cruciform church which represent the side arm running south and north), and building was probably complete by 1170. The south arcade (a series of arches, columns or piers) of choir and nave (the main, western portion of a church, often a separate component unit from the chancel) which remains is slightly later in date, and has alternating round and square pillars supporting capitals (the head on the top of columns which support the arches) with peculiarly Irish motifs. The three west windows are 12th century, but the three east windows and tower (now housing carved fragments and some medieval tiles from the Abbey) are 19th century. Joining the south aisle to the cloister is a 12th century doorway, while excavations in 1931 brought to light a north door in the aisle, parts of the original cloister (now rebuild) and an early tower which blocked the eastern two – thirds of the transept arches. The decorative stonework at Baltinglass shows an interesting fusion of Cistercian and Irish Romanesque architecture.
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18- 105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR