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Straide Friary Church
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 53° 55' 17.3"   W 009° 07' 44.0"

Nearest town

Foxford

Grid Ref.

M 25882 97479

Map No.

31

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

22

Date of visit

Monday 30 May 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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Looking from the nave to the chancel.


I've been dreaming of coming back to this friary for years, since May 12th, 2002. What absolutely fascinated me was the extraordinary beauty of a tomb in the chancel. At last we were here again, and this time with a more perfect light on it. We were really lucky because all around Straide it was pouring rain, and right here we found a sunny spot.
In its origin it was a Franciscan friary founded by Jordan de Exeter in 1240, but it was given very soon to the Dominicans in 1252 at the request of Basilia, wife of Stephen Jordan. Much of the building dates to the restoration of 1434. The only original part is the chancel with its windows. In the chancel, on the north wall, is the wonderful tomb from 1475, with eight beautifully carved figures showing the three magi, Jesus Christ showing his wounds, St. Peter flanked by two bishops and a kneeling figure, probably the person for whom the tomb was erected. The canopy above the tomb shows a tracery in the Flamboyant Gothic style.
Another fine tomb is under the east window and shows a Pietà flanked by two kneeling figures.
Five grave slabs are mounted along the south wall of the chancel. Other decorations adorn the church.
The chancel is aligned to the east-southeast (110°).


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