Feudal Lord Baron of Leathrath or Abbeylara
Feudal Baron of Mainistir Leathratha
Black Baron of Lahra
Ancient Barony of Moyashel
The Abbey Lara in Longford was Granted forever in capite to Richard Nugent, royalties
excepted in 1557 by the Crown, "Philip and Queen Mary".
Leathrath (now called AbbeyLara in the parish of AbbeyLara ) This site and Abbey and lands were granted in
Capite Forever to Baron Delvin during the reign of Philip and Mary. This was the seat of the Barony of
Moyashel and Tuites in Longford at one time.
(Irish Mainistir Leathratha) is a ancient small village in the eastern portion of County Longford,
The Abbey Ruins are located about 3 kilometres
East of Granard.
The ancient Gaelic name, Mainistir Leathratha, means "Abbey
of the half rath or little rath", and is derived from a monastery, the great Abby of Lerha, founded in 1205 by
Richard Tuite, for Cistercian monks.
The monastery was decommissioned after being granted
forever "in capite" to Baron Delvin
You can still see the ruins as you approach to the village.
An ancient earthenwork, the Duncla (Irish Dún chlaí meaning "fortified ditch") or Black Pig Dyke,
which runs from Lough Gowna to Lough Kinale, goes through the larger parish of Abbeylara, and passes about 1
kilometre north of the village.
1552 Grant of AbbeyLara to Baron Delvin Lord of Westmeath
before the separation of Longford from Westmeath - The Cistercian Abbey in 1552 To Richard Nugent Baron Delvin. The
AbbeyLara was founded in 1205
It is traditionally told that Richard Nugent, better known
as the Black Baron of Bobsgrove near Mountnugent, gave this monastery its final death stroke. And the following
extract gives a colour of truth to this tradition : —
11 IV. and V. Year 1557 Philip and Mary. This monastery
(Abbeylara) www.megalithicireland.com/Abbeylara,%20Longford.html situated in Le Annaly and the COUNTY LONGFORD. 9 lands of
Tonaghmore, Raicola or Rincolle,* Cowldony, Cloncrawe, Derraghe and Bellamane alias Bally managhe in Le Annaly,
with two cartrons of land in Lickebla, parcel of the possessions of the said monastery, were granted for ever in
capite to Richard Nugent, royalties excepted."
Reference and Citation
4 Granges of
Granard - four
granges in Granarde, of the grange of Tonaghmore, of the grange of Rincolle,
Clontrall, and Deraghe; the rectories of Dromloman, Ballmakier, Ballekillen, and Strade (Street), possessions of
the late monastery of Larro, alias Granarde, near the town of Granarde, in the Annale O'Farrell's country.
On many occasions this monastery was despoiled.
First in 1066, when the original institution suffered in a dynastic dispute between the chieftains of
Breffney, and again in 1272 when Hugh O'Connor, one of the Kings of Connaught, was at war with the English of the Pale. Two of
its abbots became bishops of Clonmacnoise, one in 1398, and the other, John O'Mayle, in 1447. Mention is
made of one of its abbots, Cornelius O'Ferral, in the Vatican Papers of Pope Innocent
St. Patrick erected a church here and placed St.
Guasacht over it; his feast is honoured on the 24th January. It is traditionally told that a labourer's
cottage at the entrance of the village from Granard, covers the site of this ancient church, of which
now nothing more is known.
“At Lerha, in Longford (says O'Halloran), there
was an abbey of Bernardines founded by Richard Tuite, an Englishman, Lord of Granard who died in an
accident. The first monks of this abbey came from that of Our Lady,
Dublin, of the Order of Clairvaux. Some say this house was founded in 1210. The founder was killed
the following year at Athlone, by the falling of a tower, and was buried in Abbeylara.” Here also
were buried many of the O'Farrells, Princes of Anghaile.
Tuite came over to Ireland in the first invasion
and settled at Granard. In 1199 he built the Castle of Granard,” to defend his territory against Ó
Raballais (O'Reilly) of East Breffney.
Cistercian Abbey in Abbeylara
Abbeylara (Irish: Mainistir Leathrátha, meaning
'abbey of the half rath or little rath') is a village in the easternmost portion of County Longford,
Ireland, located about three kilometers east of Granard on the R396 regional road. Its name is derived
from a monastery, the great Abbey of Lerha, founded in 1205 by Hiberno-Norman magnate, Risteárd de
Tiúit, for Cistercian monks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbeylara
Abbeylara first came into prominence in Irish
ecclesiastical history when the Anglo-Normans founded a Cistercian abbey in the area around the
beginning of the thirteenth century. At this time, the Cistercian monks were drawn from St. Mary's Abbey
in Dublin rather than from the native Irish houses of the order. By the 15th century the abbey was held
by the O'Farrell family. The last abbot was Richard O'Farrell who surrendered the monastery and its
lands to Henry V111 who dissolved the abbey in 1540. http://www.megalithicireland.com/Abbeylara,%20Longford.html
Abbots of Abbey Lara
By the end of the fourteenth century, Abbeylara
monastery and the surrounding country had come under the influence of the Irish rulers of Annaly, the
O'Farrell family. From the appointment of Richard O'Farrell as abbot in 1411 to the dissolution of the
abbey in 1540, all the abbots were Irishmen, most of them drawn from the ruling O'Farrell family. The
last abbot to rule the monastery of Abbeylara was another Richard O'Farrell. He surrendered the abbey
with its lands and possessions to Henry VII. The Abbey Lara in Longford was Granted forever in
capite to Richard Nugent, royalties excepted in 1557 by the Crown, "Philip and Catholic Queen Mary". At
the time of the Grant by the Catholic King and Queen of England to the Black Baron or Baron Delvin, the
abbey held over 5,500 acres of land while the monastery buildings were in ruins. At this point in time,
Abbeylara disappeared from Irish ecclesiastical history.
The Catholic Abbey of Lara held over 5,500 acres
of land in the townlands of Abbeylara, Ballyboy, Cloonamore, Coolcraft, Cooldoney, Deragh,
Kilibride, Renaghan, Rincoola and Toneymore. Besides, there were 400 acres at Lickbla, a farm
near Ardagh and another at Ballemanna and probably other lands as well. It is also worthy of
note that several advosdons patronages rectories and churches in Clonmacnois were appropriated to
Abbeylara, which should mean that the abbey derived some income from them. After the dissolution
Abbeylara it fades from vital Irish ecclesiastical history until recently when the abbot title and
hereditaments may still belong to the County Longford branch of the Lord's of Delvin.
There is a chalice still preserved in the
museum of St. Mel's College, Longford, which bears an inscription in Latin, " John Gauneus, Abbot
of Leathra Monastery and Vicar General of the Diocese 1627." The abbacy at the time cannot have
been more than titular.
On the 30th of November, 1315, Edward Bruce
burned the old town of Granard; on that day month, according to tradition, he plundered this monastery
and made it winter quarters for a short period. The monks fled to Athlone, but returned the following
Spring, when Bruce had departed. Richard O'Farrell, who became bishop of Ardagh, surrendered this abbey
about 1541. Its possessions were very large, Tuite having enriched it with 18 cartrons of land, or about
1440 acres, perhaps more. The following record which I take from the Monasticon
Hibernicum, will show that
Abbeylara was an institution of great wealth and influence:“On the surrender of the abbey, the said
Richard was seized of two carucates of land with their appurtenances in Clonmore, of the yearly value,
besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; four carucates in Lerha, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 26s.
8d.; two carucates in Clonecryawe, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; two carucates in
Tonaghmore, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; four carucates in Monktown, value,
besides reprises, 26s. 8d., and the tithes of corn of the rectory of Monktown of the yearly value,
besides reprises, of 40s.; also of a moiety of tithes of the rectory of Granard, of the yearly value,
besides reprises, of 26s. 8d., a moiety of the tithes of the rectory of Drumloman, of the yearly value,
besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; and a moiety of the tithes of the rectory of Ballymachivy, of the yearly
value of Ios. The rectories of Athlone, Levanaghan, Clonmacnoise, Tessauran, Ballyloughlo, and Reynagh,
were all appropriated to this abbey.” “Lease under commission. Dublin, 26 September, IX of Elizabeth, to
Sir Thos. Cusacke, Knt., and lady Jenett Sarcefeld his wife, the tithes of Ballenamanaghe in the Annale, of the lands of
lord MacGennor in the Annale (these lands lay to the west of Lough Gowna), of the lands of Mount
Carbré, of the lands held by the heirs of Morff O'Ferrall, of all the Maghirt of Granarde, of four
granges in Granarde, of the grange of Tonaghmore, of the grange of Rincolle, Cowldony, Clontrall, and
Deraghe; the rectories of Dromloman, Ballmakier, Ballekillen, and Strade (Street), possessions of the
late monastery of Larro, alias Granarde, near the town of Granarde, in the Annale O'Farrell's
country. £13 18s. 6d. for the possessions of the monastery of Granarde, provided they shall not alien
their interest without licence of the deputy under the great seal, nor let to anyone unless they are
English by both parents, and shall not levy coyn, livery, or other unlawful impositions
—consideration 20 morks.”—Fiants of Elizabeth.
It is traditionally told that
better known as the Black
Baron of Bobsgrove near Mountnugent, gave this
monastery its final death stroke. And the following extract gives a colour of truth to this
“IV. and V. Philip and Mary. This
monastery (Abbeylara) situated in Le Annaly and the lands of Tonaghmore, Raicola," Cowldony,
Cloncrawe, Derraghe and Bellamane! alias Ballymanaghe in Le Annaly, with two cartrons of land
in Lickebla, parcel of the possessions of the said monastery, were granted for ever in capite
to Richard Nugent,
royalties excepted.” –Monasticon Hiber.