Research Resources

Further information on Irish Monastic Sites

Irish Historic monument viewer

Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments record

Heritage Island brings together Ireland’s Premier Attractions and Heritage Towns

Research projects related to medieval monasticism

Monastic Wales seeks also to encourage new research into aspects of Welsh monastic history and to provide a platform for unpublished material and new work. Essays and articles will be available to users on the website. A comprehensive history of monastic Wales, with contributions from leading scholars in the field, will be published in book form

The Yorkshire Cistercians website focuses on five of  Yorkshire houses with significant standing ruins: Fountains, Rievaulx, and Byland principally, but also Roche and Kirkstall. The architecture of each site is explained in the context of other local churches (and European Cistercian abbeys), and provides material relating to the Cistercian way of life as experienced by the monks, the lay-brothers and their secular neighbours.

The Monasticon Hibernicum database, includes records 5,529 ecclesiastical sites (including at least 412 which are presently unlocated) dating to the twelfth-century or earlier.

The Monastic Manuscript Project is a database of descriptions of manuscripts that contain texts relevant for the study of early medieval monasticism, especially monastic rules, ascetic treatises, vitae patrum-texts and texts related to monastic reforms. We provide lists of manuscripts for each of these texts, which are linked to manuscript descriptions. The purpose is to offer a tool for reconstructing not only the manuscript dissemination of early medieval monastic texts but also to give access to the specific contexts in which a text appears.

Material Culture of the Mendicant Orders in Ireland. A selection of photographs of and detailed information about religious artefacts, mainly chalices, belonging to the Irish Franciscans.

Bibliographic and research resources

Irish History Online is the national bibliography of Irish history. It is part of a European network of national historical bibliographies from fourteen countries. Irish History Online is an authoritative listing (in progress) of what has been written about Irish history from earliest times to the present. Contains summary accounts of all the archaeological excavations carried out in Ireland – North and South – from 1970 to 2000.

Relevant Open access publications

CELT: The online resource for Irish history, literature and politics ( – CELT Provides a searchable corpus of over 1500 digitized Irish literary and historical texts available to read or use online as HTML, XML, or SGML, and some of which may also be downloaded in .pdf format.

British History online – A digital library and index of primary and secondary sources and British and Irish history resources. A small amount of material is subscriber access only.

Royal Irish Academy Digital Irish Historic Towns Atlas series. An invaluable resource for researching urban monastic foundations, including extensive bibliographic resources in the ‘Topographical information’ section of the texts

N.B. Whilte (ed.), Extents of Irish Monastic possessions 1540–1

N.B. Whilte (ed.), Irish Monastic and Episcopal Deeds from the Ormond collection

Journal for the Association for the Preservation of Memorials to the Dead in Ireland: Still one of the best sources for records of funerary monuments at Irish monastic and other ecclesiastical sites.

Thomas Burke, Hibernia Dominica: sive, Historia Provinciae Hiberniae Ordinis Praedicatorum (Dublin, 1762)

C.P. Meehan, The rise and fall of the Irish Franciscan monasteries, and Memoirs of the Irish hierarchy in the seventeenth century (Dublin, 1870)

Mervyn Archdall, Monasticon hibernicum: or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland; interspersed with memoirs of their several founders and benefactors, and of their abbots and other superiors, to the time of their final suppression. (Dublin, 2nd ed, 1873) vols 1 & 2

Local history books by county

Image resources

Collections of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century drawings and photographs including Irish monastic buildings can be sourced in the following collections:

Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland

National Library of Ireland

Royal Irish Academy Library

Gothic Past an open-access resource for the study of medieval Irish architecture and sculpture