I am currently finishing episode 14 of the podcast. Hopefully it will be out early next week, in the meantime here is a short photoessay of Ballybeg priory, Co. Cork.
Situated close to the medieval town of Buttevant in North Cork the priory itself is in pretty poor condition but is definately worth a look if your in the area. Ballybeg priory was an Augustine foundation constructed in 1229 and patronised by the de Barry family. The de Barry’s were an Anglo Norman family who conquered east Cork building numerous sites across the county including Barryscourt Castle. The priory was dedicated to the martyr St Thomas Beckett killed in mysterious circumstances by retainers of Henry II in 1170.
The most striking remaining feature is the crossing of the church. This was substancially reworked, evident in the insertion of an arch which obscures the gothic windows. This may have been done to support the crossing tower.
The remains of the crossing from the north. The structure to the right is a buttress to support the renovation evident in the picture above.
The remains of the Nave. The remains in the distance would have formed the eastern end of the church.
The remains of the cloister from the east
The dove cot is particularly impressive and is regarded as the best preserved of its kind in Ireland
Inside, the walls contain over 350 niches.
Close to the priory is this unusual structure. Although some have argued this is the remains of a tower this seems unlikely.