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The Book of Lismore

The Book of Lismore, containing the written record of the story of “The Siege of Knocklong”, was composed around 1480.

The Book of Lismore and a crozier were discovered hidden in a secret recess in the walls of Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford by workmen in 1814. They were enclosed in a wooden box in a built-up doorway. The Castle of Lismore was built in 1185.

The Book of Lismore is in Chatsworth House in Derbyshire in England, the main residence of the Duke of Devonshire, who also owns Lismore Castle.

Lismore is a town in Co. Waterford, situated on the River Blackwater, at the foot of the Knockmealdown mountains. It is located approximately 119km from Cork and 22km from Dungarvan on the N72.

St. Carthage Cathedral, Lismore

Lismore dates back to 636 when St. Carthage arrived and established Lismore Abbey.



The Duke of Devonshire opening the exhibition of The Book of Lismore at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery on 26 July, 2011

The Lismore Crozier can be viewed in the National Museum of Ireland.

THE BOOK OF LISMORE and “The Siege of Knocklong”

The Book of Lismore contains the text of “The Siege of Knocklong”, a battle between Cormac mac Airt and Fiachra Moilleathan, and stories of the druid, Mogh Roith.

THE BOOK OF LISMORE and “The Travels of Marco Polo”

Lismore Crozier

The Chatsworth Settlement Trust lent the book to University College Cork. The Exhibition “Travelled Tales – Leabhar Siúlach, Scéalach” took place at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery from July 22, 2011 to Oct 30, 2011.

The Book of Lismore also known as the Book of MacCárthaigh Riabhach (Leabhar Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach) was translated in 1890 by Whitley Stokes.

In 1950, Irish Manuscripts Commission published an edition of the manuscript with an introduction by R. A. S. Macalister.

The Book of Lismore – Lismore Heritage Centre

The Book of Lismore is a vellum manuscript consisting of 198 folios, written in medieval Irish and composed around 1480, not for a monastery but for a lay patron.

The Book of Lismore was written in the fifteenth century for Finghin Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach and his wife Caitlín. It was compiled in Timoleague and came into the possession of the Earl of Cork at Lismore Castle after a siege in the 1640s. It remained there until it’s discovery in 1814.
It contains secular and ecclesiastical texts. The Book contains the text of The Siege of Dámgháire/Knocklong. It also contains a copy of the Travels of Marco Polo, the lives of the Saints, including Patrick, Colmcille, Brigid, Senán, Ciarán and Mochua, a copy of An Teanga Bithnua (The Ever-New Tongue) the title of a dialogue between the Hebrew sages and the apostle Philip.

The Book also contains the Poems of Saint Molaise, The conquests of Charlemagne, a History of the Lombards, a copy of Lebor na Cert (The Book of Rights), on the taxes and tributes of the kingdoms of Ireland, The Triumph of Cellachán of Cashel “Caithreim Cellachain Caisil” on the wars between the Norse and the Irish, a medieval account of Antichrist, stories of Queen Maeve and The Táin and tales of Fionn mac Cumhaill from Acallamh na Senórach (Colloquy of the Ancients)

The Siege of Knocklong has been translated into English by Seán Ó Duinn.
Forbhais Droma Dámhgháire, The Siege of Knocklong (Mercier Press. Cork, 1992).

Lismore Castle on the banks of the Blackwater

History of Lismore

More History of Lismore and information on the town

Lismore Tourism

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