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Great Connell Priory

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Great Connell Priory is a former Augustinian monastery dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint David, situated on the eastern side of the River Liffey, in the Barony of Connell just to the south-east of the town of Newbridge, County Kildare, Republic of Ireland.

The priory was founded about 1202 as a dependency of Llanthony Priory in Wales by the illegitimate grandson of the Angevin King Henry II, Meiler fitz Henry, who also founded abbeys in Laois, Clonfert and Killaloe. It was located just north of a ford across the River Liffey, known as Connell Ford. It was endowed with extensive lands in the baronies of Connell and Carbury and elsewhere in Ireland. In 1203 the last King of the Ui Faeláin, Faeláin Mac Faeláin, died as a monk there. The founder entered the priory himself in 1216 and died there in 1220.

The priory was suppressed in 1541 and surrendered by Robert Wellesley, and the lands granted to John Sutton. A relief sculpture of Bishop Wellesley which once stood on the site of the abbey was restored and moved to Kildare Cathedral by the Kildare Archaeological Society in 1971.

Much of the original masonry was removed from the priory and used in the construction of the British Cavalry Barracks in Newbridge in the early 1800s.

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