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Adare Franciscan Friary Church
 

County

Limerick

Coordinates

N 52° 34' 09.54"   W 008° 46' 34.5"

Nearest town

Adare

Grid Ref.

R 47378 46729

Map No.

65

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

14

Date of visit

Sunday 18 June 2017

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruins of the Franciscan friary are at the southeast end of the golf course. A dirt path approaches from the northwest. Seen from the north.


This Franciscan friary is at the southeast corner of the Adare Manor golf course. This means that in order to get to see it you have to dodge the golf balls that fly over your head!

We visited it in a wonderful sunny and scorching day, lots of golf players on the course.

The friary was founded in 1464 by Thomas FitzMaurice FitzGerald, owner of the castle which stands 150 metres west, for the Franciscan order, and was dedicated to St. Michael Archangel.
Though it's in ruins, it's one of the most intact Franciscan friaries in Ireland.
It's still possible to see the central tower, the church with chancel and nave, the domestic buildings and, above all, the amazing cloister. Though it misses the ceilings of the walkway, all the pillars are still in place. A tall tree grows in the centre of the garth.
The church has two transepts and these transepts, in turn, have small chapels.
The church is aligned to the east (95°). The chancel still retains its traceried four-light window. In the chancel there are three canopy tombs in the north wall and another one is in the south wall along with a triple sedilia and a recessed piscina.
The nave has a three-light west window. In its north wall there are three more canopy tombs. To the south there's a huge transept with a fine four-light south window. In the east wall of the transept open two small chapels with several canopy tombs.
On the walls there are still traces of the original plaster.

To the west and north of the friary there are two detached buildings, very likely domestic buildings for the friars.

The friary was dissolved in 1539 under king Henry VIII, but some friars returned to the friary in 1573. They were driven away again during the Second Desmond Rebellion in 1581.
In 1616 the monastery is described as in rather good condition, the roof had collapsed, but some of the window glasses were still there.
In 1633 the friars returned to the monastery but when Cromwell's army arrived in 1646 some of them were killed, other were arrested, the friary was sacked and then burnt.
In 1915 it was reported that in some recesses of the walls it was still possible to see traces of the original paint.
Among the persons who were interred in the friary grounds is Reymond de Burgh, Bishop of Emly, buried in 1562.


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