Founded in 1350, the Benedictine Priory was an affiliate of the Benedictine Priory of St. John of Waterford. The Benedictine order itself was established in Ireland in the 12th Century. Built with strength in mind, the Priory may have been intended to serve as a place of refuge in times of attack and as a religious centre. Oliver Cromwell made the Priory his residence during the winter of 1649.
A pointed arch doorway of sandstone and small window (chamfered ogee-headed window) to the front still remain. Interestingly, the window does not have an arch nor a point – masons having figured out by 1350 how to construct a square window with sill. Many of the windows in Youghal prior to that period follow the arched or pointed pattern to distribute the weight of the building down around the frame of the window.
In the corridor is a piscina (a water drain connected to a stone bowl) and an ambry (wall recess).