Athassel Priory
Athassel Priory
4.5
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This is the largest medieval priory in Ireland.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles69 reviews
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Bill
Aurora, IL1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Not that hard to find. Between Google and signage. It sorta popped up out of nowhere, while amirering the view of the river . The first gate was locked and the stile, the climbing bit on the stone wall, was tense to navigate for old knees. The walk to the place was easy enough, over a arched bridge. And then another gate. This was not locked. We were about 60 yards from some milk cows. Cousin Lynn went on ahead and stated there may be a bull 🐂 in the friary proper. She got several fine photos and we made our way back to the road. Once you get here, easy enough, it is a fine location.
Written 30 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John Patrick
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Friends
In a field just outside Golden, was originally a small town back in the 1300's. Open to the public al year round with free entry. Mind the cows on the way in and out. Stunning architectural features to be seen inside and out. definitely worth a visit.
Written 5 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EgyptianGoddess
Alexandria, Egypt1,014 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a short drive from Cashel in the direction of Golden. When you enter the village of Golden turn left at the main junction. The road narrows quite quickly but is easily navigable.

You should see the Abbey on your left hand side maybe a mile or two at the most down the road. When you see a set of iron gates pull over - there is room for one very small car to squeeze into this spot. A stone stile climbs the wall next to the gate - and it is a short walk across the fields and over the bridge into the Abbey.

The peace of this plcae is amazing - it is also in very good condition when compared to the nearby Hore Abbey at Cashel. There are no information boards available - so if you plan on visiting here - you may like to arm yourself with a few printed pages off the internet to help understand the site. Or just go for the atmosphere which is beautiful - especially on summer days.
Written 13 November 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carol_from_Princeton
Princeton, NJ179 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
This is a great ruin to visit. As of April 2017, there are no signs to it, and no entrance fee. It is in the middle of a cow field, behind a locked gate. Here is how to get into it:

1) Since there is no information on site, I recommend you read the Wikipedia entry just prior to or during your visit.

2) The priory is on the WEST BANK of a small river. Make sure you drive to the closest public road on the WEST side of the river. I have indicated the spot on the map I've uploaded.

3) Park by the side of the road, pulling off as far as is safe.

4) Walk to the locked entrance gate on the road. As you are looking at the priory, on the left side of the gate, there are narrow steps built into both sides of the stone wall. I've uploaded a picture of me descending the narrow steps into the field surrounding the priory. It is perfectly passable if you are reasonably sure on your feet. But unfortunately it is not currently accessible to people with limited mobility (users of wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, canes, etc.).

5) Once you get into the priory you will see there are a few signs and safety gates, which indicates to me that it is meant to be accessed by the public. But presumably the main gate to the road is locked because there is also a cow pasture here, and the farmer can't trust tourists not to leave the gate open and let the cows out.

6) Enjoy your visit. We had the ruins all to ourselves and enjoyed a picnic lunch.
Written 8 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jkoloc
Eagan, MN30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017
Traveling west on N74 a couple minutes out of Cashel, look for a brown signpost on the left just over the bridge in Golden and it's a few minutes along, off the road on the left. The priory grounds are not developed for visitors - parking off the roadway is tricky (good luck, we pulled off by a metal gate) and you access it via steps in a stone wall. It is an isolated, gorgeous setting and amazing structure, very worth exploring as a Thin Place. However, the property belongs to a private cattle farmer and his stock have free run of the place. Across the field and over a low bridge I was warned off at the gate house by the herd inside the grounds; their aggressive lowing let us know we were not welcome, as if they were the sentrys. There was at least one bull in the group, the ground was soft, and in the eerie morning fog we definitely felt threatened. Maybe sunshine would make it feel less intimidating, but I did not get a peaceful vibe there and did not push my luck by venturing further. Of all the ruins and circles we visited, this spot definitely had Big Medicine going on.
Written 3 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kerryman92
Dublin, Ireland200 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
Once the biggest Priory in Ireland. Heading from Golden drive past the priory and park in a short lane way on the left. Walk back, climb over the stall, cross the field and then cross the bridge on the left of the building. Just wander, enjoy and imagine!
Written 7 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linerguy
United States993 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
It's a fact: not every place to visit in Ireland is right off the road; with a proper car park and tea room...sometimes you just got to put a little effort into it. Here's the scope:

Athassel Priory sits in the middle of a pasture. To get to it you have to pull off the road as far as you can (there's no dedicated car park), and walk over what's known as a "stile crossing" - which is basically a set of steps that straddles a fence or stone wall. In this case, the crossing is to the left of a locked gate, which is in between two small stone pillars. The walk from the road to the priory takes about 5 minutes. Easy.

There is a small stone bridge over the River Suir...that's the best way to enter the site. The priory itself is pretty cool, with some great detail remaining. There are a few signs describing the history, but I would Google it before I went.

When we were there, they were clearing trees away at the end of a road just beyond the site; perhaps for a car park? Just guessing of course.

Overall, a visit to Athassel Priory is well worth the effort if you're in the area.
Written 15 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary
London, UK52 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Couples
The Athassel Priory has not been commercialised so there are no guided tours, no entery fees, no public parking and very little information on what it is that you are looking at but despite all of this the site itself has a lot to offer and it is very well preserved.

You will have to find a space to park at the side of the road, climb a small wall and cross the field to get to the remains of the old bridge.

There is a lot to explore in the priory and some of the stonework here is still very impressive despite its age.

If you're in the area then this is well worth a visit especially if the weather is nice.

Written 7 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pryst
Staatsburg, NY273 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Couples
Athassel Abbey (also known as Athassel Priory) is 6-7 km outside of Cashel in the village of Golden. From Cashel, you'll cross the stone bridge over the Suir, with a ruin to your right, and take the immediate left - there will be a brown sign saying `Athassel Abbey 2 km'. The road you turn onto is a narrow, local road so proceed cautiously. The Abbey will shortly be seen rising out of the fields to your left. Park alongside the road but please do not block any gates since, as you will see, the area around the abbey is a working farm. Also be sure to park well off the road as local residents are used to speeding along at a fairly good clip.
Founded in 1192, the Abbey prospered and gave rise to a village which surrounded it. In its time, Athassel was the largest and most successful abbey in all of Ireland. It was closed - as were many Catholic churches and abbeys - during the Reformation of the 16th century and afterwards abandoned. A woman in Cashel who ran the gift shop down from the Rock told us that the site has never been excavated and no archaeologist has set foot there.
If you visit, you will surely feel as though no human as set foot there since the 12th century. The ruins have a very interesting feeling to them as though they were only recently abandoned or, even, still inhabited. This is not to say they are `haunted' and I don't want to encourage any ghost hunters. One does have the feeling, though, of being accompanied in one's walk as soon as the gate to the main building is crossed. Once inside, you will see that people have recently been there as the site is now used by local residents as a graveyard. The most recent stone we saw was from 2011 and there was an official sign asking that people not bury their dead without letting someone in authority know of it.
The ruins themselves are magnificent and absolutely beautiful. We were alone there in the early morning and the mists rising from the surrounding pasture and the silence of the building seemed to transport one back in time. The place has a very good, positive, energy to it although, as noted, there is that feeling of being accompanied in one's walk. A fascinating experience on many levels, I highly recommend the trip but not for those with trouble walking as one must cross an expanse of pasture and hop over walls and gates to reach the ruins. For those acquainted with the concept, Athassel Abbey is definitely one of the thin places and one should walk there with reverence and gratitude.
Written 30 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

danny h
Madrid, España10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2013 • Friends
Explore it by yourself nice place and really easy to walk around. not too far from the village of Golden
Written 2 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Athassel Priory, Tipperary

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