63d. The 'Black' Abbey, KILKENNY TOWN
SCENES from IRELAND - County Kilkenny
The Black Abbey is the restored Dominican church founded in 1225 by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. In the restoration and rebuilding process all of the windows have been filled a marvellous array of stunning stained glass windows or painted glass windows. The Abbey is dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity. This one of Irelands oldest churches with its official title of "Abbey of the Most Holy Trinity".
Black Abbey Kilkenny: It is the only original Dominican foundation in Ireland still in use after nearly 800 years. The tower was built in 1507 and still stands to this day! In 1543 the Dominican community was dispersed after the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII and the church turned into a courthouse. However, in 1603, the citizens of Kilkenny seized the church and returned it to the Dominicans. Three priests were protected for a time but later driven out by English forces. By 1643 the Dominicans were back in charge during the 'Confederation of Kilkenny' and the Abbey was repaired, but in 1650 it was sacked by Cromwell's army. It wasn't until 1816, after further Catholic repression, that the church was finally open for church services. In 1866 the nave was restored.
Black Abbey Kilkenny: The main building of the main building of the Black Abbey. The name 'Black Abbey' comes from the black cappa worn by Dominican priests over their white Habit.
Black Abbey Kilkenny: Examples of the stained glass panels in the Black Abbey.
Black Abbey Kilkenny: Some of the spectacular more 'modern' stained glass windows.
Black Abbey Kilkenny: The great south Rosary Window with the intact medieval tracery of the magnificent stonework. The stained glass panels represent the Fifteen Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
Black Abbey Kilkenny: Examples painted glass panels in the windows
Black Abbey Kilkenny: The south Rosary window in more detail.
Black Abbey Kilkenny: Near the Rosary window is an alabaster sculpture of the Most Holy Trinity, to whom the Abbey is dedicated. It represents God the Father enthroned, holding a crucifix with a figure of the Son, and on the crucifix is perched a dove representing the Holy Spirit. It has date of 1264 carved on it, but experts date to around AD 1400.
Some lovely modern small stained glass windows
Black Abbey Kilkenny: Near the entrance of the Black Abbey are ten stone coffins dating from the 13th or 14th centuries.
The ruined tower and nave of the church of St Francis Abbey, which is situated in a factory yard!
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