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St. Mary's Collegiate Church Church
 

County

Galway

Coordinates

N 53° 17' 58.2"   W 008° 44' 46.44"

Nearest town

Athenry

Grid Ref.

M 50256 27949

Map No.

46

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

43

Date of visit

Tuesday 23 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The church is in two parts, the west side is in ruins, the east section is now the Heritage Centre of Athenry. Seen from the southwest.


St. Mary's Collegiate Church was built in 1240 by Meiler de Bermingham who, one year later, built the Dominican Priory, and it was the former parish church for the town of Athenry.
It was destroyed in 1574 by the sons of the Earl of Clanricard to prove their relentless hostility to the government in Dublin. Since this was their family church and it contained the tomb of their mother, they were able to proof that nothing would have stopped them to mantain their lands and privileges.
Today this church is divided in two parts, the 13th century section to the west and the new 19th century Protestant church that is now the Athenry Heritage Centre.
The ruinous parts has a nave and two transepts and is aligned to the east (80°). The entrance is through a slightly pointed doorway in the south wall of the nave which once shoud have had a roof. Nearly all windows are gone but the two in the south wall. Part of the north wall of the nave is missing.
To the east the Athenry castle is visible.


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