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Rathkeale Priory Church
 

County

Limerick

Coordinates

N 52° 31' 25.32"   W 008° 55' 57.0"

Nearest town

Rathkeale

Grid Ref.

R 36719 41779

Map No.

64

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

48

Date of visit

Saturday 17 June 2017

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruins of the priory in the beautifully maintained park, seen from the southwest.


Rathkeale Abbey, also called Rathkeale Priory or St. Mary's Priory, was founded by a certain Gilbert Harvey for the Augustinian Canons of the Order of Aroasia, from the Diocese of Arras, in France, in the 1289.
The abbey was suppressed in 1542, but it seems that a small community of Augustinian canons remained in the area until 1581.
What we see today is a roofless building aligned to the east-northeast (78°). There's a four-light traceried window in the chancel. In the south-ish wall of the chancel there are five round headed windows. Outside the building, against the north-ish wall there's a small vaulted chamber. The nave section is much ruined. The south-ish wall is the most complete, but it seems it doesn't reach its original total length. A Gothic archway was the entrance to a south transept now disappeared. Another L-shaped segment of the nave wall stands detached from the rest of the building at the northwest corner.

The church was restored by Rathkeale community council and FÁS in 1988.


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