From The Illustrated Dublin Journal, Volume 1, Number 11, November 16, 1861
HOLY-CROSS ABBEY, one of the most interesting architectural remains of antiquity in Ireland, is seated on the banks of that beautiful river,
The gentle Suire that, making way
By sweet Clomnel, adorns rich Waterford,
about three miles from Thurles, county of Tipperary. As appears from the original charter, still in existence, the Abbey owes its foundation to Donald O'Brien, King of Limerick, in the year 1182, when it was richly endowed with lands for its support by its founder. These grants were confirmed four years later by John, Earl of Morton, then Lord of Ireland, and afterwards King John. He further directed that the monks of the abbey (who were of the Cistercian order) should be "free from all mulcts in his courts, for what cause soever they should be amerced, and also free of all toll whatever." In 1233 this charter was confirmed by Henry III., and again, in 1395, by Richard II. Like most monastic structures of any importance, it was cruciform, and consisted of a nave, chancel, and transept, with a lofty square belfry at the intersection of the cross; but is distinguished from other structures of the kind in having in both transepts two distinct chapels, beautifully groined--a feature which imparts much picturesqueness to the effect. The steeple rests on four beautifully groined arches, and the roof of the choir, as well as those of the side chapels, is similarly enriched. The windows, generally, are of very elegant and tasteful design.