coole-abbey

Coole Abbey is an early ecclesiastical site of some significance. Constructed from stones of considerable size, the western and northern walls, as well as the southern wall, have been reduced to a little over 3ft in height. The east wall remains standing and, where the altar once stood, there is a lancet-style window (like those found in round towers). Directly behind Coole Abbey is Coole House, an 18th-century mansion designed by Davis Ducart and once the family home of the powerful Peard landlords. The Peards were originally from Upcott, in Devonshire, England. Richard Peard, the first of his family to arrive in Ireland, is buried in a tomb at the old cemetery of Kill-St-Anne. Later generations of the family are interred in a family mausoleum at the same site. Described in manuscripts from the 19th century, the house was seen as a ‘plain, modern building’. Coole House later came into the possession of the McCausland family. Orr McCausland, a late 19th-century landlord, was at the centre of a bitter controversy in 1889 when he took up a holding on land from which a man named Richard Rice had been evicted two years earlier. Fr O’Dwyer, curate in the Parish at the time, was one of the people who led the agitation against Orr McCausland – an action for which he was arrested and sentenced to five months in jail.