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Ballindoon Priory Church
 

County

Sligo

Coordinates

N 54° 04' 58.2"   W 008° 19' 24.3"

Nearest town

Ballymote

Grid Ref.

G 78884 14899

Map No.

25

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

65

Date of visit

Wednesday 4 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruins of Ballindoon priory with Lough Arrow in the background.


This fascinating and compact church is on the northeast shore of Lough Arrow.
The Priory of St. Mary was founded in 1507 under the MacDonogh's patronage by Thomas O'Farrell who, probably, was also its first prior.
The prior and the friars continued to live here even after the dissolution of the monasteries under king Henry VIII. The last friar of this monastery was father Michael Reynolds who was also parish priest of Aughanagh-Ballinafad. He died between 1785 and 1789.
The church has a triple arched screen between the nave and the chancel, with a short square tower on the top of it. Its upper floor can only be accessed via an outside stairs on the southwest side of the building.
On this same side there's the vaulted tomb of the Gethin family erected in the 1860.
The chancel is aligned to southeast (125°). There's a northeast (35°) transept in the nave.
I wanted to go to the upper floor of the screen so I climbed the ruined stairs on the southwest wall of the church. Some of the steps are in a really bad condition, especially those at the end of the staircase. When I was at the top of it I realized that I had been reckless! There was no way to get to the upper floor without risking my life, I could have easily unbalanced myself on the last step and fall down and, more that this, even going back down was a highly dangerous action. I was stuck at the top of the stairs with the only thought that it was the last thing I was doing in my life. I think that it has been the worst moment in all my existence.
So, don't be tempted to go up that stairs, don't be as crazy as I was!


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