Adare, County Limerick

From The Illustrated Dublin Journal, Volume 1, Number 18, January 4, 1862

THERE is not, perhaps, in the entire province of Munster a village so beautifully situated as the ancient town of Adare, about nine miles from Limerick. Its lonely and unfrequented shades, and the remarkable and magnificent ruins of its castle, and once splendid religious edifices, raise in the mind of the occasional visiter many sublime and delightful emotions. From ancient records we find its name written "Ath-daar," which signifies the "Ford of Oaks." The remains of the Franciscan Abbey are elegantly picturesque; its mouldering walls being covered with a mantle of ivy. It was an extensive building in the old Gothic style of architecture, and is said to have been founded in the reign of Edward I., by John, Earl of Kildare. On the south side an Augustinian Abbey was founded, known by the name of the "Black Abbey," of which there still exist some very beautiful and romantic remains. The establishment called the "White Abbey" was founded by the Earl of Kildare, about the year 1271, to which was attached very large possessions. The entrance to this Abbey was by a low gate, on the west side, which is yet partially standing, and, with the other ruins of the edifice, presents a gloomy yet fanciful picture.

The above engraving represents the bridge of Adare, over the river Maigue, and the castle of the Earls of Desmond, the ruins of which show it to have been a place of great strength. It was completely dismantled during the civil war of 1641.