All Saints Early History


All Saints’ Church, Mullingar, was first referred to in a charter of 1192–1202, which noted that the church had been given to the Augustinian priory of Llanthony Prima in Wales by Simon de Rochford, Bishop of Meath. The prior of the abbey became rector of Mullingar and was responsible for appointing priests. The link with Llanthony was retained until 1540, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII.

IMAGE: 1. Llanthony Priory

Ruins of Llanthony Priory, Wales, priory of Augustinian canons, dedicated to St. John the Baptist

In 1172, Henry II of England granted the kingdom of Meath to Hugh de Lacy, who in turn granted William le Petit the Barony of Magheradernan. Mullingar became the territory’s main stronghold and the location of Petit’s castle. In a communication to Llanthony dated circa 1202–1210, the dedication of the church to All Saints was confirmed by Petit. He stipulated that there would be two chaplains and a deacon attached to the church of Mullingar, who were to say mass in the chapel of his castle when he or his wife were in residence.

IMAGE: 2. Early-medieval church

There is no precise information about the early structure of All Saints, but early-medieval churches were typically rectangular, either with a stone or thatched roof

The local tradition that St. Mary’s Augustinian Priory was located on the site of All Saints has no apparent basis in fact. The medieval parish church predates the priory, which was founded in 1227. It is very unlikely that the two structures shared the same site. The precise site of the monastery is not known, but Sir Henry Piers, writing in 1642, noted that it stood at the east end of Mullingar.

< Next >

Union Notes Archives

Donate Now To Mullingar Union of Parishes

QR Code To Donate

Contact Us

Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376