Mount Saint Joseph Cistercian Monastery

The area that the monastery now stands in was once land that belonged to the monks of Monaincha, granted to them by the O’Carrolls. Dr. Richard Heaton was mortgaged the land in the 17th century. He is said to be the first botanist in Ireland! It was his son, Edward, however that renamed the land Mount Heaton and built the house on the stump of a castle.

The house stayed in Heaton hands for a time but was eventually held by William Armstrong who, in 1816, lost it in a card game to the Duke of York who in the same night lost it to General Taylor. The General improved the house and the towers and castellated front seem to be his work. He then sold it to Count Arthur Moore who gave it to Cistercian monks from Mount Melleray. The foundation stone of the church was sent to Mount Heaton from the Roman Catacombs in 1879 and the church was finally completed in 1881.

The monastery continued to grow building dormitories, refectory, chapter rooms and sacristy. The Cistercian College was opened in 1905 continuing the tradition of monasteries being educational centres as well as places of worship. The monastery continued to expand, in 1917 large farmyard buildings and in 1933 the infirmary and novitiate blocks were built. The College Museum and library has held some beautiful and rare exhibitions and antiquities such as Replicas of the Cross of Cong and the Roscrea Brooch along with the Bede Manuscript. The grounds of the monastery are very peaceful and scenic with the waterfall and woods being very popular.The monastery continued to grow building dormitories, refectory, chapter rooms and sacristy. The Cistercian College was opened in 1905 continuing the tradition of monasteries being educational centres as well as places of worship. The monastery continued to expand, in 1917 large farmyard buildings and in 1933 the infirmary and novitiate blocks were built. The College Museum and library has held some beautiful and rare exhibitions and antiquities such as Replicas of the Cross of Cong and the Roscrea Brooch along with the Bede Manuscript. The grounds of the monastery are very peaceful and scenic with the waterfall and woods being very popular.