The Augustinian Friary, known as the Black Abbey, was founded in 1316 by the Earl of Kildare. It is now the Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish church and school.
The Augustinian friars first came to Dublin from England in about 1260. They were invited to Adare by John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, in 1316 and given land and houses in the town.
By 1541 the Augustinians owned nearly 80 acres of land, several cottages and gardens in · the village and a fishing weir on the river. As part of the Tudor suppression of Irish Monasteries at the end of the 16th century, the Augustinians were driven out of Adare and had moved to Limerick City by 1633.
[Illustration captions, counterclockwise from left center, read]
· The Friary in 1450
· Along the top of the South wall of the church are carvings of animals and human heads.
· Many of the features of the friary are very well preserved, particularly the small 15th century cloister and the sedilia (stone seats to the side of the altar).
· The Friary today · In 1814 the refectory (dining area) of the friary was rebuilt as a school which is still used today. The Dunraven family continued restoration work on the friary throughout the 19th century.
· The Dunraven family mausoleum was inserted into the cloister in 1826.