Ballinrobe Augustinian Priory Church




N 53° 37' 34.56"   W 009° 13' 15.96"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

M 19226 64743

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Wednesday 24 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The ruins of the priory in the graveyard, seen from the south-southeast.

The ruins of this Augustian Friary are to the north of the town of Ballinrobe, on a ground which is higher than the former flood plain of the Robe River, that flows about 100 metres northeast from here.
This was the first Augustinian friary built in the Connacht.
It was founded in 1313 by Elizabeth de Clare, the youngest of the three daughters of Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford. Her maternal grandfather was king Edward I.
She married John de Burgh in 1308 and had a son, William, in 1312. It is said that the friary was built to celebrate the birth of this son.
In 1400, Pope Boniface IX granted indulgences to all that could assist in the restoration and conservation of the friary, but a fire damaged it in 1413.
It was a wealthy monastery and in 1584 it owned approximately 120 acres of land, a mill and a water course.
The monastery kept going on despite the suppression ordered by king Henry VIII.

A Silver Seal, now stored in the British Museum of London, was found here. It's an oval medal with an inscription around the outer diameter that reads "SIGILLUM CONVENT ORDIS: ERMITT.S.AUG.J". The inner area of this medal shows a heart with four arrows and the inscription "BALENROB".

The church is a nave and chancel building aligned to the east (90°). The west doorway has a rope fluting with some reconstructed parts. Above it there's a two-light window. The east window has three lights and has been totally reconstructed. The north wall is missing, the south wall has some missing parts. There are a double piscina and a sedilia. From the chancel a small lintelled doorway in the north wall leads to a damaged building that could have been the sacristy.
The ruins are surrounded by a graveyard.

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