THE Abbot, who was of the Cistertian order, had a seat in Parliament among the Barons of the realm. On the suppression of religious houses it was granted to Lord Audley, who assigned it to Lord Viscount Ely; it afterwards came into the Marquis of Drogheda's family, wherein it now is, who beautifully repaired, or rather new built it, for none of the ancient abbey is to be seen. The front is square with projecting wings, the portico and every part in the Gothic style. It stands in a demesne of eleven hundred acres, and is one of the noblest country seats in Ireland. In this abbey was anciently preserved St. Evin's bell, called Bernan Emhim, which was committed to the care of the Mac Egans, hereditary chief justices of Munster, and in all causes was solemnly sworn on by the tribe of the Eoganachts. So true is it what Giraldus Cambrensis records in the year 1185-"Ut sacramenta super Campanas, bajulas baculosque sanctorum longe magis quam super Evangeli et proestare vereantur Hiberni, et pejerare"
(pp. 24-25, Vol. II)Groses's Antiquities of Ireland Back To The Heritage Homepage