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Rathfran Friary Church
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 54° 14' 16.74"   W 009° 14' 40.8"

Nearest town

Killala

Grid Ref.

G 18863 32841

Map No.

24

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

11

Date of visit

Thursday 25 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The friary is in a field and the access is along a long path from the south. In the past the access was across the fields from the northeast.


The name of this church was Priory of the Holy Cross. It was founded for the Dominicans in 1274 by either one of the Exeter family or by William de Burgo.
A large part of the priory was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries, but it still retains distinctive feature of the 13th century.
According to the records there was a three-light window in the east wall. A plaque carved with a crucifixion is set into the wall above the two-light window above the west doorway.
The priory has two cloisters.
In 1438 indulgences were granted to those who could donate some money to allow the building of the refectory and bell-tower.
During the dissolution of the monasteries under king Henry VIII, the priory was granted to Thomas Dexter.
In 1590 it was burned by sir Richard Bingham's army.

The quality of the stonework is breathtaking. The south wall has 4 double lancet windows. Other beautiful windows are visible all over in the walls.
The west gable and the south wall have massive buttresses.
In the chancel two wonderful grave slabs have been clamped against the east wall.
Other carvings are on the walls of this church.

We came here for the first time on May 10th, 2002, but we remember that the route to the ruins was straight through the field and not along the wet shore of the estuary of Cloonaghmore River.


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