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Kilmacrennan Friary Church
 

County

Donegal

Coordinates

N 55° 01' 59.58"   W 007° 46' 23.94"

Nearest town

Kilmacrennan

Grid Ref.

C 14492 20656

Map No.

6

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

34

Date of visit

Sunday 28 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The south (170°) wall is all that remains of this church. Seen from the northwest.


I visited this place on June 4th, 2011, but I wasn't particularly attracted by the ruins so we went away. I regretted that decision for a long time.
Actually almost nothing remains of the friary apart from something of the south wall and a fragment of the east wall.
The ruins are fenced off because they're unsafe and dangerous.
Some ancient grave slabs flush with ground are within the ruins. Other ancient stone crosses are in the surrounding graveyard which is enclosed into a low stone wall.

The friary was built in 1537 by the clan leader Manus O'Donnell for the Franciscan friars on the site of a previous monastery of the 6th century. It is said that at this early monastery Colmcille was educated by his foster father Cruithneachain O’Ceallachain, a priest who gave him the religious education, in 528.
This monastery survived until 1129.

For over 400 years the O'Donnell Chieftains were inaugurated at this place, even before the building of the friary.
The ceremony for their inauguration was divided into two parts, the religious rite at this site, the civil rite at Doon Rock.
The friary was dissolved in 1610.

West of the ruins are the remains of a Church of Ireland church which was inaugurated in 1822 and was abandoned in 1845.


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