Holy Cross Abbey, County Tipperary
Holy Cross Abbey is a restored Cistercian monastery in Holycross near Thurles, County Tipperary. Situated on the River Suir, the site takes its name from a relic of the True Cross (or Holyrood). This fragment was brought to Ireland by Queen Isabella of Angouleme (the widow of King John) around 1233. She gifted the relic to the original Cistercian Monastery in Thurles and then rebuilt after which it received its name Holy Cross Abbey.
Over the years, Holy Cross Abbey became known as a place of medieval pilgrimage and during the Reformation, it also became a rallying point for the dispossessed and victims of religious persecution.
The Holyrood relic was last exposed for public veneration in 1632 and following the Cromwellian war, Holy Cross Abbey fell into ruins. After 1740, local people used the roofless ruins as a burial place and in 1880 it became a scheduled national monument – “to be preserved and not used as a place of worship”.
Special legislation in the Dáil on its 50th anniversary, 21st January 1969, enabled Holy Cross abbe to be once again restored as a place of Catholic worship, exceptionally for a national monument. The Sacristan of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican provided an authenticated relic of the Holy Cross, and the emblem of the Jerusalem Cross or Crusader Cross has been restored for the Abbey.
Add to Custom Tour
Create your very own Ireland tour with our Tailor Made Tours section. Once you've created an account and logged in, you can add your favourite attractions, accommodation and activities. And, when you're happy with your choices, just send them on to one of our Ireland experts and we'll design a custom itinerary and quote tailored just for you.
Luxury South Self-Drive Tour 8 Days
Luxurious accommodation and the south's arresting scenery.
Starting from $1,345 pps
Luxury South Self-Drive Tour 6 Days
Treat yourself to the finest in Ireland's south.
Starting from $974 pps
Luxury South Chauffeur Drive Tour 6 Days
A luxurious getaway complete with private driver and guide.
Starting from $2,814 pps
Luxury South Chauffeur Drive Tour 8 Days
Stunning accommodation and your very own personal guide.
Starting from $4,054 pps