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‘OLD ABBEY’ OF SAINT MARY D’URSO, DROGHEDA

History of the Abbey: The ruined remains of the friary church of Saint Mary D’Urso, founded as a hospital for the poor and the sick c.1206, is one of the most well-known medieval archaeological monuments in Drogheda. The hospital was built outside the west gate of the fortified town of Drogheda, but was absorbed by new town walls in the late 13th century as Drogheda expanded. The priory of St. Mary d’Urso was dissolved in 1540 during the ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries’ period and gradually fell into ruin.

The project involved removal of invasive vegetation and inappropriate past repairs, followed by repointing the south face of the abbey and providing a protective haunching to the wall-top. The crossing tower of the abbey stands to full height and is a well-known landmark in Drogeheda. The tower has ogee-headed limestone windows in all four elevations which required temporary stabilisation, and input into a survey to develop a methodology for their conservation and repair.