Duiske Abbey was founded in the year 1204 and built by Cistercian monks from Wiltshire
in England. From that day on, the town of Graiguenamanagh has grown up in the
shadow of Brandon Hill and has seen the best of times and the worst of times.
The town name comes from the Irish words 'Graig-na-managh' meaning the grange
or church of the monks.
A visit to the Abbey is a must for all who
come to Graiguenamanagh. Beautifully restored to operate as the local parish church
many of the original features remain. Of particular interest are the remains of
the original 13th Century tiled floor, still visible four feet below the present
day floor. In the grounds of the Abbey stand the Athylkawn and Ballyogan High
Crosses which date back to the 8th and 9th century respectively. They were moved
to Graiguenamanagh from outlying parishes in the 1800's.
Abbey, which will celebrate its 800th anniversary in 2004, is at the heart of
Graigue in more than just the physical sense. Plans are afoot within the community
to celebrate the octo-centenary on the Abbeys foundation in an appropriate
fashion. The nearby Abbey Visitor Centre hosts an interesting local museum and
acts as a sales point for good quality arts and crafts.