MACOSQUIN Location: Macosquin parish County:
Londonderry Foundation: 1218 Mother house:
Morimond (France) Relocation: None Founder: Unknown Dissolution: - 1600 Prominent members: Access: Accessible to the public
Macosquin was founded in 1218 and colonized with monks from Morimond,
a daughter house of Citeaux.
In 1401 abbot John O’Flannra
became bishop of Derry. By 1484 Macosquin had been without an abbot
for a considerable time prompting Raymond O’Donnell
to illegally claim the abbacy; arrangements were made for
a clerk, to be received into the abbey and to be appointed abbot.
O’Cahan was mutilated for hanging Abbot Donough O’Cahan.
No reliable financial figures survive but the abbey is unlikely
to have been prosperous. The abbey does not appear to have been
dissolved at the time of the general Suppression but
is little information concerning its later history. The abbey must
have fallen before the turn of the seventeenth century for it
at that time that the site was given to the Merchant Taylors as
part of the Plantation of Derry. A Protestant church was constructed
on the site during the nineteenth century and in 1840 it was reported
that the last of the ruins consisted of a tall gable with a chimney
that was used for keeping beehives. This was demolished when
Glebe House was built c. 1770. St. Mary’s church still occupies
the site and to the east of the chancel are the foundations of
rectangular structure, possibly the old Cistercian presbytery.
The only other surviving part of the abbey is a lancet window,
dating from the thirteenth century, which has been reused in the
wall of the existing church. It is known locally as the ‘leper
The site can be accessed by the public at all