Located on the banks of the River Arrigle about 2km from Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Jerpoint Abbey was founded in 1158. In Medieval times there was a town of Jerpoint but this had fallen into ruin by the seventeenth century.

Jerpoint Abbey is regarded as one of the most interesting Cistercian ruins in Ireland. It offers a unique insight into the lives of the monks because many of its domestic arrangements are still recognisable.

The abbey was self-sufficient and had its own gardens, watermills, cemetery, granary and kitchens. The oldest parts of the abbey are the Irish-Romanesque transepts and chancel, which contains faded wall paintings. The east window dates from the fourteenth century and the fantastic central tower was added in the fifteenth century.

Wooden steps still follow the run of the night stairs. By going up them, you will reach the roof and can look down on the Dublin-Waterford railway.

The restored cloister piers carry carvings which are similar to the drawings found on Medieval manuscripts. The abbey was dissolved in 1540 and its 1880 acres were presented to the Earl of Ormonde.