Murrisk Abbey, Ireland

Murrisk Abbey, County Mayo, Ireland

This evening, I am focusing on Murrisk Abbey near Louisburgh in Co. Mayo on the central West Coast of the island of Ireland.Location is about 100 miles north of Shannon.


 Key aspects of the abbey are:

  • Founded 1457 by Augustinians on land donated by Teig O'Malley, chieftain of the O'Malley Clan.
  • What remains now comprise picturesque ruins of the Church and priory which have been designated a National Monument.
  • The buildings were L shaped. The church was on the south side while the friary was attached to the north choir. A square tower was added later at the western end of the church.
  • The east window behind the main altar is the finest architectural feature of the ruins. This can be seen in the image above. The window has five trefoil lights surmounted by intersecting bar tracery and is one of the best examples of its type in the West of Ireland.
  • The Augustinians were driven out in 1577 during the Protestant Reformation. However, they appear to have found sanctuary in the local community and returned to the Abbey by 1635 as evidenced by a chalice inscribed with that date which is now held at Ballintubber Abbey.
  • Historically, the Abbey is connected with nearby mountain known as Croaghpatrick where St. Patrick prayed and fasted for forty days and nights. In former times the Abbey housed two famous relics, St Patrick's tooth and the Black Bell of St. Patrick. Both of these items are held in Ireland's National Museum.
  • Location is a few minutes drive from Ireland's National Famine Monument.


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