The Graveyard

Although many Irish chieftains, nobles and religious were buried within the Abbey walls from 1474 onwards, the surrounding graveyard itself evolved after the Abbey’s destruction in 1601. The oldest visible inscription is that of Daniel Walker (Ref:E36) who died in 1706 but it is expected that burials of the local population began very early in the 17th century. The fact that the Church of Ireland built a church there in 1722 would have, in itself, encouraged burials in the church grounds. Even earlier, after the siege in 1601, perhaps many of those involved, both defenders and attackers, were the first to be buried in the grounds. The answer to these questions, like many others about the Abbey, have been lost in the mists of time and we must be grateful that so much information has survived down the centuries, particularly about those early burials listed in the Annals, so that we can continue to enjoy the history and heritage of this remarkable abbey.