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Cloontuskert Priory Church
 

County

Roscommon

Coordinates

N 53° 41' 53.3"   W 008° 00' 48.3"

Nearest town

Ballyleague

Grid Ref.

M 99164 72031

Map No.

40

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

47

Date of visit

Friday 6 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The north-northeast wall leads the eye to the east-southeast wall. Nothing else remains of this church. Notice the row of stumps of the cloister pillars that run parallel to the wall.


The monastery built here in the 12th century fell under the patronage of Tairrdelbach Mór Ua Conchobair, king of Connacht, who refounded it as an Augustinian Arroasian priory. He died in 1156.
His grandson Aedh, son of Ruaidri (the king who built Cong Abbey), who died in 1233 was buried here.
The ruins at this site are just two long low walls on the north-northeast (15°) and south-southwest (195°) side and a higher wall on the east-southeast (105°) side.
Against this wall there are two large stone slabs.
Stumps and fragments of what once could have been a cloister are aligned all around the small burial plot among these walls. There are some nice burial markers in the graveyard.
But the most interesting things here are the cross slabs, a stone decorated with a menora, fragments of bullaun stones, millstones and stone gutters set into the boundary wall of the graveyard in the west side.
Among these very interesting stones there are a carved human head and something that could look like a sheela-na-gig, but it's most likely an exhibitionist.
Other similarly carved stones are set into the northwest wall.
We were here only to see the ruins of the church, these stones in the boundary walls were a very nice surprise!


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