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Rosserk Friary Church
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 54° 10' 16.8"   W 009° 08' 37.0"

Nearest town

Killala

Grid Ref.

G 25365 25308

Map No.

24

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

13

Date of visit

Friday 7 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The west gable of the church.


An enchanting friary in an enchanting setting, next to the mouth of the River Moy, where the silence is overwhelming.
The Rosserk Friary was founded around 1460 by a member of the Joyce family for a group of friars of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi. The friars of the Third Order were those men and women that wanted to follow a franciscan lifestyle, but because of their previous condition of married people couldn't join the First Order (friars) or the Second Order (nuns).
The friary was burned in 1590 by sir Richard Bingham, governor of Connacht.
Today the Rosserk Friary is in ruins, it has a small court with no cloister as we know it, only a square green enclosed by the buildings. The rooftops are accessible through staircases placed at every corner of the court. There's a nice square tower too.
One of the most beautiful things of this friary is the four-light east window in the chancel. Next to the altar there's a double piscina, where the sacred vessels where washed during the Mass, decorated with carvings of angels and a round tower. The south transept boasts a nicely decorated window.
Other decorations of animals and flowers can be found under the square tower.
The entrance to the nave faces west (260°).
Unfortunately most of the friary was wrapped by scaffoldings when we visited it.
We were going to leave the friary at the end of our visit when a freshly married couple and all their guests invaded the place and blocked our car. We had to wait not less than half an hour before we were free to go.

We visited this friary for the first time on May 9th, 2002.


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