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  • Southside

History of Dublin’s lost abbey to be revealed

Thursday, 5th October, 2017 1:00pm
History of Dublin’s lost  abbey to be revealed

04 new thomas 2.jpg

History of Dublin’s lost  abbey to be revealed

04 new thomas 2.jpg

THE fascinating history of one of Dublin’s major medieval abbeys is set to be revealed with a two-day celebration.

Starting on Friday, October 13, students from several Dublin 8 schools and the Solas Project will participate in a medieval pageant through the streets of the Liberties as they bring the former Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr to life.

Dressed in medieval garb and carrying banners symbolising the theme of St Thomas the Martyr, the parade will be led by two knights on horseback in full medieval costume and armour. 

Accompanied by music from the 12th century, the children will then parade their way to St Catherine’s Church, Meath Street, where  various banners will be on display.

Medieval chants and music will be performed to celebrate the history of the Abbey

The Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr was originally founded in 1177 on the orders of King Henry II as compensation for the death of Thomas Becket.

It was originally located just outside the medieval walls of Dublin.

The abbey went on to play a pivotal role in the religious and political affairs of the city until its eventual dissolution in 1539.

While no trace of the abbey remains above ground today, it had a lasting impact on the city of Dublin and lends its name to modern-day Thomas Street.

Dublin City Council’s South Central Office and the Dublin City Archaeologist have been unravelling the mysteries of the abbey to raise awareness of this important medieval ecclesiastical foundation.

All the art work and banners created by the young people for the pageant will also be on display  on Saturday, October 14 during the  day-long conference on the history of the abbey.

Taking place from 9.30am to 5pm in St Catherine’s Church, Thomas Street, the conference will explore the archaeological finds at Thomas Street, which led to the wider discovery of the abbey.

There will also be a focus on the abbey’s relationship with the city of Dublin and the fact that the Abbey was responsible for the maintenance of the watercourse of the city.

Other topics up for discussion will include everyday life in medieval Dublin and the wider importance of the Abbey outside of Ireland.

The conference is free and open to the public, but advance booking is required.

Further information and registration is available on the website

Speaking before the various events get underway, Bruce Phillips, Area Manager for Dublin City Council’s South Central Area, explained how the Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr was one of the most important ecclesiastical foundations in medieval Ireland.

“It had a major influence on Dublin, and in particular on The Liberties area,” he said.

“The existence of the abbey and its fascinating history has only recently been discovered.

“There is no visible trace of the abbey left, so this month we’re hoping to bring the sights and sounds of the Abbey to life and raise awareness among Dublin locals and the wider public of the untold history that’s on their doorstep.”

Further information on the events and the abbey itself can be found on the Facebook page.


Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here