Duleek began as an early Christian monastic settlement. St. Patrick established a bishopric here about 450 A.D., which he placed in the care of St. Cianan in 489 A.D.
Duleek in Irish means house of stones, referring to an early stone-built church, St Ciananís Church, the ruins of which are still visible in Duleek today across the road from the 12th Century abbey ruins. It is claimed that it is the first stone church built in Ireland. The place was sacked several times by the Norsemen between 830 A.D. and 1149 and was also pillaged by the Normans in 1171.
The 12th Century saw the reconstitution by the Augustinians of the original monastery as St Maryís Abbey. In the 16th Century a massive square tower was built alongside the earlier round tower. The latter is no longer standing but the scar where it was joined onto the square tower is clearly visible on its northern face.
There are two Celtic high crosses in the churchyard that date from the 10th Century. Within the church are some early cross-slabs, a Romanesque pilaster-capital, and the base and head of the South Cross.
About Duleek (Damhliag)
Meath.ie: Duleek Heritage Trail
Journey to Duleek (Damhliag)
Duleek is southwest of Drogheda and east of Navan on the R150 in County Meath, Ireland.
Megalithic Ireland: Irish High Crosses-Duleek
roundtowers.com: Duleek Round Tower, Co. Meath
Wikipedia: Irish Round Towers
Ordnance Survey Map (O0468)
Visitors information may be found at the geograph.ie website. General tourism information may be found at the County Meath Tourism website.
Additional Photos of Duleek (Damhliag)
Descriptive Sign, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Interior of St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Bell Tower Built into Earlier Round Tower, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Altar, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Grave Slab, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Cross Head Inside St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
East Face Small High Cross in Churchyard, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
West Face of Small High Cross in Churchyard, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
Close-Up of West Face of Small High Cross in Churchyard, St. Mary's Abbey, Duleek
St. Cianan's Early Stone Church Across from Abbey, Duleek