The Conversion of the Monasteries:
examining the impact of the Reformation on medieval church fabric and focussing in particular on the different uses to which monastic buildings were put following the Dissolution.
Strand leader: Dr Rachel Moss
The study will focus on case studies of discrete groups of monasteries and friaries countrywide according to nature of re-use. In the east of the country, the wealth and subsequent quality of a number of Cistercian monasteries led to their conversion into grand Tudor mansions for new English settlers. The manner in which they were converted to domestic use has never been comprehensively studied and could yield interesting comparisons with a number of examples in England. As frequently the most strongly built structures in more rural settings, a number of monasteries and friaries, such as Fore abbey(Co. Westmeath) and Carlingford friary (Co. Louth) were re-used as defensive structures, especially in border territories, presenting an interesting group of buildings to study in the context of fortified architecture of the period. Finally, a number of friaries in the south and west of the country continued to function with the support of sympathetic Gaelic patrons. There is some evidence that these friary structures not only continued in use, but were also architecturally updated in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The nature of this continuity and in particular the impact of increased links between Irish and Continental friars during the period will form the focus of this case study.
Conferences Sessions and Seminars
18th June 2009: 'Reconstructions of the Gothic Past Roundtable'
Dr Rachel Moss, 'The Forgotten Century: the Survival and Revival of the Irish Monastery, 1540-1640'
Other papers presented
- R. Moss, 'Reconstructing Cashel', International Medieval Congress, Leeds University, 13-16 July 2009
- R. Moss, 'Designing the Past: survival and revival in late gothic architecture', Michael O Cleirigh Institute, UCD, October, 2009
- R. Moss, 'Continuity and Change in the Sixteenth-century Parish Church', Sixteenth-century Society annual conference, St Louis, MI, October, 2008