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Askeaton Friary Church
 

County

Limerick

Coordinates

N 52° 36' 13.5"   W 008° 58' 30.5"

Nearest town

Askeaton

Grid Ref.

R 33891 50680

Map No.

64

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

10

Date of visit

Thursday 13 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The Askeaton Friary and the graveyard.


This is one of those places where I forget the rest of the world.
The friary in Askeaton was founded by Gerald "the Poet", 4th Earl of Desmond, in 1389 on the right banks of the River Deel.
In 1579, during the Desmond rebellion, Sir Nicholas Malby and his army attacked and destroyed the village of Askeaton and the crops around it, and then burned the friary. Most of the monks escaped, but many of them were caught and slaughtered by the soldiers. In 1627 some friars returned to Askeaton. The religious community remained active until 1740.
The most enchanting part of the building is the cloister, which is still intact and has a total length of 62 metres. On the pillar in the north corner of the cloister there's the carving of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, with stigmata. Unfortunately his face is very worn due to the local tradition of kissing it. Between two pillars of the northwest side of the cloister there's a sundial. The church is a very long nave and chancel building, it measures 36 metres of total length, with the chancel looking towards east (85°). In the chancel there's a nice five-light window. The place is mostly in ruins. Sections like the northwest transept and the refectory are in bad conditions. The transept was added in the 16th century and it's 18 metres long. Other fine carvings can be seen on the walls of the church.
The friary had a square tower to the east, but no trace of it survives today.

We came here for the first time on May 15th, 2000.


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