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It is located close to the Carlow border south east of Kilkenny City, at the foot of Brandon Hill.
It is home to Duiske Abbey, the largest and perhaps the finest of the thirty-four medieval Cistercian abbeys in Ireland.
The abbey, which takes its name from the little river Duiske (Blackwater) which joins the Barrow here, was founded by William Marshall in 1204 and was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1536.
Significant remains of the monastery exist to the rear of the houses that line the east side of Lower Main Street.
The abbey's large "Early English" Gothic Church, was magnificently restored in the 1970s and in its northern aisle a model of the monastery shows the abbey as it was in the fourteenth century.
, Significant remains of the monastery still exist and the remains are fully restored as an early Cistercian Church.
Original medieval floor tiles from the original building can be seen in the abbey along with the beautiful "Early English" gothic and Romanesque architecture.
Some of the thirteenth-century stonework is still obvious; including still-leaf foliage carved into the capitals, dog-tooth ornaments and banded shafts.
It contains many Lancet windows.
An effigy of a 13th century Norman knight found in the ruins is installed by the main entrance.
He is depicted seizing a sword and is carved with great attention to detail.
It is one of the finest medieval effigies in Ireland.
In its northern aisle a model of the monastery shows the abbey as it was in the fourteenth century.
Explanation plaques are at various points in the Abbey.
In the nearby Abbey Centre there is an exhibition of contemporary Christian Art and local historic artifacts.
The Abbey is open to visitors but opening times may vary seasonally.