Mungret, Churches and Bullaun Stone, Co. Limerick.

Location – In Mungret village about 2km West of Limerick City. Individual co-ordinates will be given on individual site pages. 
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – This cluster of churches is what remains of an early Christian foundation, founded by St. Nessan. What remains are the ruins of two churches and an abbey. I also found a bullaun stone here that seems to have been un-noticed thus far. There is also a holy well here that I missed on my first visit but I will go back to look at this in the future. At its height there were 6 churches here and 1500 monks. The site was plundered three times by the Vikings in the 9th century and by the local chief Murtagh O’Brien in 1107. The site was granted to the Bishop of Limerick, Brictius, by the King of Munster, Donal Mór O'Brien in 1179. From the 12 century onwards the abbey became of the order of Augustinians.

Mungret was known as a seat of learning and one story relates how Mungret was challenged by Lismore in Co. Waterford to see who had the most learned monks. The Mungret monks decided to try and get the upper hand on the Lismore monks and dressed up as washerwoman on the day of the contest and waited by the river for the Lismore monks to arrive.  When the monks crossed the river they asked the disguised monks for directions and one gave the answer in perfect Latin and other in perfect Greek. The Lismore monks decided that even if the washer women were fluent in ancient languages that they would have no chance against the more educated monks. They left and did not challenge the monks.

Click below for individual sites within this complex:
The Old Church.
St. Nessan’s Church.
The Abbey and Bullaun Stone.

Difficulty – Easy enough to find although the graveyard around the Abbey is very uneven underfoot.

For more ecclesiastical sites, click here.
For more sites in Co. Limerick, click here.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map