Founded in 1230, this is the only monastery of the Trinitarian order known in Ireland. It is now Holy Trinity Abbey, Adare's Roman Catholic church.
The Trinitarian order - or the Order of the Redemption of Captives - was founded in France at the end of the 12th century. Their purpose was to rescue hostages taken during the Crusades in the Holy Land. The monasteries in Northern Europe were set up to recruit monks and collect ransom money, though some were hospitals for rescued captives. The Trinitarians may have come to Adare from Scotland.
After the Crusades the monks gradually assumed a way of life little different from other orders.
[Illustration captions, counterclockwise from left center, read]
· The Monastery about 1450 - The early monastery had the usual range of monastic buildings - an inner cloister (a covered passage for walking and meditating), enclosed on four sides by a church, a dining area, dormitories and workshops.
· Pigeon was one of the most economical foods available to the monks. The birds nested in this stone dovecot and flew in and out through a circular hold in the roof.
· 19th century additions
· The Monastery today - In 1852 Lord Dunraven had the church repaired and expanded to fill a space which once contained the mediaeval cloister.
The Convent of Mercy, the Lady Chapel and the porch were also added.
· Because of the white habit worn by the monks, the monastery was called the White Abbey.
· A panel from the stained glass window above the altar shows a monk in chains about to redeem a hostage.