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Cong Abbey Church
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 53° 32' 24.6"   W 009° 17' 13.4"

Nearest town

Cong

Grid Ref.

M 14718 55213

Map No.

38

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

18

Date of visit

Thursday 6 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The abbey seen from the southeast.


St. Feichin founded an early monastery at Cong in 624. In the following decades the monastery was replaced by a new building.
The abbey was burned in 1114, but Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (Turlough Mor O’Connor, 1088–1156), the High King of Ireland, had it rebuilt in 1135. The abbey was burned again in 1137.
Turlough's son, Ruaidhri Ua Conchobair (Rory O'Connor), the last High King of Ireland before the Norman invasion, constructed new buildings around the main church and spent the last 15 years of his life at the abbey, where he died in 1198.
The monks of the abbey adopted the Augustinian rules.
William de Burgh, the Norman knight, attacked Cong abbey in 1203. The abbey was rebuilt for the third time.
What we see today of the church and the cloister is the rebuilding of this period.
The north wall of the abbey has a wonderful doorway with some Romanesque decorations, though the doorway has a Gothic design. Some of the capitals of the orders of this doorway have been rebuilt in the 19th century.
Not far from the abbey the river Cong flows to the Lough Corrib. On the left bank of the river the monks built a fishing house. This house is built on a stone platform with a small arch underneath the floor. The river flows under the platform. In the floor of the fishing house there's a hole. The monks would lower a line and a bait in the hole to catch fish that was cooked at the place or taken to the abbey.

This abbey appears a few times in the movie "The Quiet Man" (1952) by John Ford, see movie at time 1:00:00, 1:02:27, 1:04:17, 1:33:13, 1:59:12, 2:00:00, 2:01:05.

We came here for the first time on September 18th, 2003.


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