Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Cistercian Abbeys of Tipperary

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Cistercian Abbeys of Tipperary

Article excerpt

The Cistercian Abbeys of Tipperary. By Colmcille 65 Conbhuidhe, OCSO. Edited by Finbarr Donovan. (Dublin: Four Courts Press; Portland, Oregon: ISBS. 1999. Po. 335. $55.00 cloth; $24.95 oa

Irish Cistercian historiography is alive and well. Asplin's bibliography Medieval Ireland (Royal Irish Academy 1971), while enumerating twenty-one secondary studies on the story of the Irish White Monks published between 1901 and 1970, did not include a number of contributions bearing on that story by Canon W E Burke, Canon Patrick Power, W H. Grattan Flood, Aubrey Gwynn, S.J., and others. H. G. Leask, Roger Stalley, and E. C. Rae of the University of Illinois have devoted much attention to the Cistercian abbeys and their tombs, while Geraldine Carville has written extensively on the monks' management of their estates. Meanwhile, the long-lived (1902-1992), prolific, and meticulous scholar, Father Colmcille, had added to his Story of Mellifont ( 1958) with many learned papers on the history of his order. In 1998 Finbarr Donovan edited from the journals Citeaux and Collectanea Cisterciensia a collection of these under the title, Studies in Cistercian History, or to be precise, Irish Cistercian history. Now for the same press he has edited the present volume from Father Colmcille's work, unpublished as well as published.

The result is a substantial volume, made up of a lengthy introductory survey of Irish Cistercian history, followed by what might be termed four case histories of medieval abbeys. These four are Inishlounaght (Suir), Holy Cross, Kilcooly and Hore (Cashel). Owney (Abington), which lay within the county palatine of Tipperary, is not included. A goodly part of the introduction has appeared already What is particularly useful here is the statistical information, based on historical surveys, maps, and taxation assessments, on the holdings of the Cistercians, who were great landlords, and on the economic value of abbeys. …

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