Selskar Abbey, County Wexford

From The Illustrated Dublin Journal, Volume 1, Number 22, February 1, 1862

THE remains of the once celebrated priory of St. Peter and St. Paul, usually styled Selskar, are situated near the west gate of Wexford. It was founded about the year 1190, by the Roches, lords of Fermoy, though it was not an original foundation, but like most of the ecclesiastical buildings in this county, a re-erection on the site of an old church dedicated to the apostles in question. The first treaty ever signed in Ireland with the English was on this spot, in the year 1169, when the town of Wexford surrendered to Dermod M'Murrough and his allies.

This church, with six others, were demolished by order of Oliver Cromwell, when in possession of the town in 1649. The churches so destroyed were St. Patrick's, St. Mary's, St. Bride's, St. John's, St. Peter's and St. Maud's, commonly called Maudlin Town. Not satisfied with levelling these various places of worship, together with the plate belonging to the priory of Selskar, he took possession of a very fine peal of bells, which he shipped for Chester, but which, being of a superior description, were removed a few years afterwards to Liverpool.

The engravings which precede convey a very correct idea of ruins of the Abbey as they appeared some years since.

The annexed cut represents a sepulchral flag in the ruins, which covered the remains of Richard Stafford, of Wexford, and Anstace, his wife.

The Staffords were descended from John Stafford, a third son of a Buckinghamshire family, who acquired the estate of Ballymachrane, in the county of Wexford, about the reign of King Henry the Seventh; and from him descended the family of Ballyconnor; George Stafford, who built the castle and hall of Wexford; Richard Stafford, above-mentioned, who was descended from a second brother of Ballyconnor; and two other branches who possessed considerable property in Wexford in the reign of James I. and Charles I. The family of Sutton were also of very ancient residence and respectability in Wexford and the adjoining counties; they posses-sed Old Court, as well as Ballykerogmore, and were of the same original stock as the Suttons of Tipper, in Kildare. The arms on the stone are empaled, baron and femme.--1.--Argent, three staffs of oak, ragulee, two and one for Stafford. 2.--or. the lion rampant gules, treading on a lizard, vert, for Sutton.