Timeline of Monasterevan History

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A Note on dates in this timeline: All dates should be considered to be indicative only. The dates used are based on the best evidence from Archaeological, Historical, and Oral Heritage sources. Also included for reference are major world events in (red).


Old Stone Age

Middle Stone Age

New Stone Age

Early Bronze Age  

Middle Bronze Age

Late Bronze Age

Iron Age

Christian Era

Late Iron Age (Early Christian Ireland)

Early Medieval Monasterevan

Medieval Monasterevan

Renaissance Monasterevan

Georgian Monasterevan

Victorian Monasterevan

Modern Monasterevin



Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age)

160,000 Years Ago Modern Man in Africa, Neanderthal man dominant in Europe

40,000 Years Ago Cro-Magnon Man dominant, Advanced stone tools. Cave painting.

Mammoths, Bears and Irish elk roam the countryside around Monasterevan.



Mesolithic Period (Middle Stone Age)



Evidence of human settlement has been found at the Yew Tree cemetery.

These people are termed the River Ford Culture by Meyer.

The Dolmen in Grangebeg was in use at this time.

(Sumerian civilization begins in modern Iraq. Cruciform writing invented).



Neolithic Period (New Stone Age)



The first Farmers move up the Barrow Valley. The fords at the Yew Tree, the Pass Bridge, the Slip, Portmonaher, and Belan become hugely important sites in the Neolithic landscape.

Deforestation by these farmers causes the peat bogs to begin to form.



Early Bronze Age



The use of bronze technology reaches Ireland. Cemetery in Nurney in use by the western most of 15 related communities that stretched from the Red Hills to Knockaillinne.

Abraham was patriarch of the Semitic peoples around this time.



Middle Bronze Age



Numerous swords deposited in the River Barrow.

(Founding of Homers Troy. New Kingdom of Egypt)

(1360BC Tutankamun Pharaoh in Egypt)

(1300BC Phoenicians at the height of their power in the Mediterranean)

Likely era of Nemid, a Phoenician trader, who may have settled in Cobh, Co. Cork.

(1230BC Likely date for Moses and the events of Exodus)



Late Bronze Age



Toghers such as the Danes Road are built.

Objects termed Monasterevan Discs date from this period.

(Secrets of Iron working discovered in the Middle East)

(1000BC Likely date for King David of Israel)



Iron Age



Iron technology in Ireland.

Celtic culture is absorbed into Ireland over an extended period.

Large hilltop enclosures built on Dunmurray Hill and Knockailline.

Knockailline (20km from Monasterevin) of equal importance to Tara and Navan Fort.

(558BC Founding of the Persian Empire)

(525BC Buddha and Confuesius alive at this time)

(336BC Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia)

(221BC Great Wall of China built by the Han Dynasty)

(44BC Julius Caesar murdered in Rome)



Christian Era (Middle Iron Age)



A 26m wide ring enclosure in use at Lackagh.

Crannog inhabited at Lackagh Bog ( One of only three known in Co. Kildare)

A large circular enclosure at the Yew Tree.

(4BC Jesus Christ born)

(29BC Death of Christ)

(50AD Britain becomes part of the Roman Empire)

(70AD Second Temple destroyed in Jerusalum, end of the nation of Israel)

(79AD Vesuvius erupts burying Pompeii and Herculaneum)

227-266AD Cormac Mac Art, High King in Ireland.

283-4AD Fionn Mac Cumhail leader of the Fianna of Ireland killed at the Battle of Gabhra.

300AD Christianity reaches the Celtic Isles (Ireland, Britain, Isle of Man)

(312AD Emperor Constantine converts to Christianity)

(325AD Council of Nicea, founding of the Catholic Church)



Late Iron Age (Early Christian Ireland)



400AD Christian communities in southern Ireland

405AD Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King in Ireland, dies.

430AD Pope Celestine sends Bishop Palladius to administer to the Christians of Ireland.

431AD Patrick ordained Bishop by Pope Celestine the First.

432AD St. Patrick begins his missionary work in the northern half of Ireland.

(453AD Death of Attila the Hun)

461AD Death of St. Patrick.

470AD St. Brigid establishes monastery on the earlier pagan sacred fire site of Kildare.

(477AD Saxons invade Britain)



Early Medieval Period (Dark Ages in the rest of Europe)



506AD First great Battle of Fennor where King Illian’s body was borne before the Leinstermen as a talisman of victory.

(520AD Likely date of the historical King Arthur's last battle against the Saxons in Britain)

523AD Death of St Brigid.

543AD Extraordinary plague kills one third of the human race - Annals of the Four Masters.

553AD St Columba reaches Iona.

565AD Christianity preached among the Picts.

(569AD Prophet Mohammed born)

550-650AD Most likely period for the life of St. Abban of New Ross.

570-670AD Most likely period for the life of St. Evin.

597AD Death of St. Columba.

(602AD St. Augustine's Archbishopric of Canterbury founded)

(611AD Phrophet Mohammed proclaims the Islamic faith)

(664AD Synod of Whitby, England, challenges independence of the "Celtic Church")

664AD Yellow Plague in Ireland.

676AD St. Maeldubh of Umeras leaves Ireland for Malmesbury, England.

687AD Bran son of the King of Leinster dies.

690AD Bran Ua Faelain King of Leinster dies.

717AD Second great Battle of Fennor.

770AD Irish settlers in Iceland and the Faroe islands.

(772AD Charlemagne the Great, King of the Franks)

(789AD First Norse or Viking raids on the Celtic Ilses)

795AD First Viking raid on the monastery of Iona.

841AD First Norse settlement of Dublin.

845AD Viking victory at Dunamase.

903AD Battle of Ballymoon, Co. Carlow, for supremacy over Rosglas.



Medieval Period (Middle Ages)

1005AD Brian Boru proclaims himself Emperatus Scottorum, Emperor of the Irish.

1014AD Battle of Clontarf. Death of Brian Boru.

(1066AD Battle of Hastings. Normans invade England)

1171 AD Strongbow, Richard de Clare enters Ireland at the invitation of the King of Leinster.

1189AD Foundation of the Cistercian Abbey of Rosglas.

1199AD Abbot of Rosglas granted the privilege of celebrating the feast of St.Evin.

In this period such castles as Lackagh, Nurney, Kildangan a total of eleven moated sites built.

(1199AD John King of England)

(1206AD Genghis Khan founds Mongol Empire in the east)

1228AD Stephen de Lexington conducts an investigation of the Cistercian Order in Ireland.

1260AD William de Vesey builds Lea Castle.

1284AD Lea Castle besieged and burnt by the O'Dempsey and the Kings of Offalia.

1288AD Charter from John FitzThomas Lord of Offaly granting 3 oaks each year to Rosglas

1294AD de Vesey withdraws from Ireland. The Earl of Kildare is granted Lea Castle.

1297AD Abbot of Rosglas accused of harboring Irish felons. Fined 1/2 mark.

(1297AD William Wallace rising in Scotland against Edward Longshanks King of England)

(1306AD Robert Bruce Rising in Scotland)

1307AD Castle of Geashill demolished and the town of Lea burnt by the Irish.

1311AD Richard de Burgho held prisoner in Lea Castle.

Robert Bruce's Scotch army sacks the town of Lea and carries away the bells of the church.

1329AD O'Dempsey of Offalia surrenders Lea Castle to the Earl of Kildare.

1339AD O'Dempsey of Offalia besieges Lea Castle.

(1337AD Hundred Years War begins)

1346AD O'More of Leix burns Lea and Kilmead.

(1348AD Black Death all across Europe including Ireland)

1406AD Battle of Cluain Immerois (Umeras?), defeat of the English of Meath.

(1455AD Wars of the Roses begin)

(1378AD Great Schism of the Church divides into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox)

1414AD O'Dempsey and O'More take and hold Lea Castle.

1421AD O'Dempsey and O'More march from Lea to invade the Pale.

1427AD Abbey of Rosglas falls on hard times.

1478AD Death of  Sir Thomas FitzGerald of Lackagh.

1484AD Sir Thomas FitzGerald (2nd ??) of Lackagh appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

1487AD Revolt in Ireland, Lambert Simnel crowned in Dublin as Edward VI.

1492AD Rice the navigator directs Colombus to Cuba where the explorer discovers America.



The Renaissance



1500AD The bridge known as Essex or Pass Bridge was probably built before this date.

1501AD The Ordinale of Rosglas is written in the Abbey of Melifont by Donatus O'Kelly

1509AD Donatus O'Kelly is Prior of the Abbey of Rosglas.

(1517AD Martin Luther posts his Ninety-five Thesis)

1519AD Sir Maurice FitzGerald of Lackagh appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

1520AD Battle of Crossmaurice. Maurice FitzGearld killed by the O'Mores of Leix.

1534AD Turlough Duv O'Dempsey murdered while under sanctuary of Rosglas.

Act of Supremacy by Henry VII.

Rebellion of Silken Thomas.

(1537AD Reformation of Henry VIII in England)

1541AD All Irish Church lands made over to Henry VIII by act of the Irish Parliment.

1551AD The Manor of Rosglas leased to Captain Agarde.

1567AD Sir Edward Waterhouse leaseholder of the Manor of Monasterevan.

(1554AD Bloody Mary Queen of England marries Philip of Spain.

(1558AD Elizabeth I crowned Queen of England)

1574AD Earl of Essex in Ireland.

1588AD Spanish Armada wrecked on the Irish coast.

1596AD Sir Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, in residence in the Manor of Monasterevan.

1598AD O'More garrison in Lea Castle.

1599AD Earl of Essex marches over the Pass Bridge to the battle of The Pass of The Plumes

1600AD All Leix except Maryborough in the hands of Owny MacRory O'More

(1601AD Earl of Essex beheaded at the Tower of London)

1603AD James the First King of England.

1613AD Sir Adam Loftus granted the Manor of Monasterevan.

1622AD Adam Loftus created Viscount Ely.

1629AD Dr.Ross MacGeogahan of Cloneygowan appointed Bishop of Kildare.

1641AD High Court of Chancery held in the House of Monasterevan by Loftus, Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

Rebellion in Ireland.

Lea Castle garrisoned by the native Irish.

Monasterevin is repeatedly attacked.

Adam Loftus leaves the country.

1642AD Dr. Edward Dempsey of Cloneygowan appointed Bishop of Leighlin.

(1642AD    Civil War in England, Parliamentarians under Cromwell against Charles I)

1650AD Castles of Lea, Maryborough, and Dunamase taken by Parlimentary forces under Colones Heuston and Reynolds.

1665AD Population of Lackagh deported to the Barbados islands by order of Cromwell.

(1660AD Restoration of Charles II to the throne of England)

(1665AD Black Death in Europe)

1666AD The new town of Portarlignton founded.

1680AD Edward Loftus, son of Adam, dies at Monasterevan.

1689AD King James II grants the lands of Lord Ely (Loftus) on the Duke of Tyrconnell. 

1690AD Battle of the Boyne.

1691AD The Duke of Tyrconnell dies at the Siege of Limerick. William of Orange regrants the Manor of Monasterevan to Loftus.

1699AD Charles Lord Moore marries Jane Loftus. Their son Edward becomes the 5th Earl of Drogheda.



Georgian Period (Rebellion Era)



1729AD Thatched chapel or mass house built at Coolatogher.

1735AD Charles O'Dempsey, Cahir-na-gCappal, hanged as a horse thief.

1756AD Construction of the Grand Canal begins  

1758AD The Charter School (The Hulk) is built.

1759AD Lord Drogheda raises the 19th Light Dragoons (later the 18th Hussars).

Trees planted in Moore Abbey to commemorate founding of the Light Dragoons.

(1764AD Beginning of the Industrial Revolution)

1767AD Charles 6th Earl of Drogheda makes extensive alterations to the House of Monasterevan.

The old Protestant Church inside the gates of Moore Abbey is demolished.

St. John's Church is built by Lord Drogheda to replace the old church.

Demense walls are built around Moore Abbey.

Lord Drogheda appointed inspector of the road to Naas.

(1774AD American War of Independence begins)

During the American War Monasterevin sends a volunteer infantry unit to fight for the crown.

1780AD The House of Monasterevan becomes known as Moore Abbey.

Passenger or "Fly" boats start operating on the canal.

1784AD Cassidy's Distillery founded.

1786AD Grand Canal Barrow Branch reaches Monasterevin.

1787AD Old parish church at Passlands built. Rev. C. Doran PP.

1788AD Fire guts original site of Cassidy's Distillery.

(1789AD French Revolution)

1792AD Kildangan church built.

1798AD Rebellion in Ireland.

Battle of Monasterevin.

Massacre at Gibbet Rath, the Curragh.

Fr. Prendergast hanged at Monasterevin House.

Fr. Prendergast's body smuggled to Harristown for burial.

1800AD Act of Union between Ireland and Britain creates United Kingdom.

1801AD Ballykelly Mill founded.

1803AD Emmet's Rising.

1804AD Grand Canal reaches the Shannon.

(1805AD Battle of Trafalgar)

(1808AD Peninsular War begins)

1811AD The Regency period begins.

(1815AD Battle of Waterloo)



Victorian Period



1832AD the Town Bridge is built.

(1837AD Queen Victoria crowned)

1845AD Work begins on St. Peter and Paul's parish church.

1846AD Portico and great steps built at Moore Abbey.

Sunken garden laid out resulting in the uncovering of monks graves.

Branch railway line to Athy built through Kildangan.

1847AD Great Famine in Ireland.

St. Peter and Paul's parish church opens.   

Railway reaches Monasterevin.

(1848AD California Gold Rush)

1849AD Lackagh National School built.

Kildangan church enlarged.

1852AD Passenger services on the canal cease.

(1854AD Crimean War)

(1857AD The Indian Mutiny)

1860AD Cassidy's diversify into brewing with St.Patricks Pale Ale.

(1861AD Abraham Lincoln, President of the USA, American Civil War begins)

1865AD New Organ in St. Peter an Paul's church.

1869AD Christian Brothers arrive in Monasterevin.

1875AD Fenian banner painted by O'Grady for the nationalists of Monasterevin

1880AD The Danes Road found in Cloneygath Bog.

(1880AD First Boer War)

1885AD First Intermediate examinations held.

1887AD Cassidy's Distillery at the height of its prosperity.

1893AD First Home Rule Bill for Ireland defeated.

1898AD Convent of Mercy established.

(1899AD Second Boer War)

1898AD Committee for the erection of a monument to Fr. Prendergast formed.

1899AD Monument to Fr. Prendergast erected in Market Square. 



Modern Era



1900AD Samuel E. Holmes Ltd. founded.

(1901AD Death of Queen Victoria)

1903AD Gordon-Bennet motor race passes through Monasterevin.

1905AD Drogheda’s build the Market House (Bank of Ireland)

1906AD Convent school established by the Sisters of Mercy.

1909AD Kildangan Railway Station opened.

(1914AD World War I, The Great War, begins in Europe)

(1912AD RMS Titanic sinks)

1915AD Nurney School built.

1916AD The Easter Rising and declaration of Independence.

1916-1918AD War of Independence.

(1918AD World War I ends)

(1920AD League of Nations founded)

1920AD Cassidy's Distillery closes.

1921AD The Treaty is signed creating the Irish Free State. Civil War begins.

1925AD Count John MacCormack leases Moore Abbey.

Special performance by Count MacCormack and Lucrezia Bori in St. Peter &Paul's Church.

New Hall built on the former RIC barracks site (CYMS Hall).

1926AD Worlds first Ferro-concrete road laid from Monasterevin to Kildare.

1927AD St.Evin's branch CYMS founded.

1930AD The film Song of my Heart is made in Moore Abbey and surrounding area

1932AD Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

1933AD Cassidy's Distillery buildings sold to Samuel E. Holmes as Brooke Works.

1936AD National Turf Cutting Competition at Umeras Bog.

1937AD John MacCormack and family leave Monasterevin.

(1939AD World War II begins in Europe)

1939AD Christian Brothers new monastery built. 

Kildangan Hall built.

1940AD The Emergency declared in Ireland.

Local Defense Force Unit formed in Monasterevin.

Pillbox and bridge demolitions prepared as part of the Barrow Box defense plan.

1943AD Secondry School established.

(1945AD World War II ends)

1946AD Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary purchase Moore Abbey

1947AD Fire guts the west wing of Moore Abbey.

1948AD Secondry School fails due to lack of numbers.

1951AD Fr. Gorry PP. digs at the Bell Hole for St.Evins Bell without success.

1952AD Lackagh Hall built.

1954AD Tyna Knitwear founded.

1975AD Siege at Monasterevan.

2004AD The Heath-Mayfield Motorway (Monasterevan Bypass) opens


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