Jerpoint was built around 1160 by the King of Ossory, Donal MacGillapatrick, for the Benedictine monks. In 1180 it was taken over by Cistercian monks from Baltinglass Abbey. By 1228 the population of the abbey had reached 36 monks and 50 brothers. The monastery was self-contained, and included its own gardens, watermills, infirmary, cemetery, kitchens, granary, stables and other outbuildings. At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540 the abbey was granted on lease to James, the Earl of Ormond by the English crown. The lease included some 6,000 hectares of land belonging to the Abbey, watermills, cottages, weirs, fisheries and a castle. It is situated on the N9 a short distance south of Thomastown.