Muckross Abbey

In my last post I mentioned I would be posting a more focused piece about Muckross Abbey. Well, here it is. In keeping with the nature of this blog, I will be minimising the words and trying to let the photos do the talking. 

The Franciscan friary of Irrelagh, now known as Muckross Abbey is one of the major ecclesiastical sites found in the Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland. It was founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary for the Observantine Franciscans by Donal McCarthy Mor.

It has had a violent history and has been damaged and reconstructed many times. The friars were often subjected to raids by marauding groups and were persecuted by Cromwellian forces under Lord Ludlow. Today the abbey is largely roofless although, apart from this, it is generally quite well preserved. Its most striking feature is a central courtyard, which contains a large yew tree (said traditionally to be as old as the Abbey) and is surrounded by a vaulted cloister with an arcade of arches.

Muckross Abbey was the burial place of local chieftains and, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the three Gaelic poets, Geoffrey O’Donoghue, Aodhagan Ó’Rathaille and Eoghan Rua Ó’Súilleabháin. The graveyard in the grounds surrounding the Abbey is still in use with a number of burials there each year.
These photographs were taken on May 2nd, 2014. 
Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #1

The avenue leading from the main road to the Abbey.


Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #2

First view of the Abbey from the avenue.


Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #3

Looking back along the avenue.


Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #19

General view of the Abbey from the surrounding graveyard.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #16

The Nave.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #15

Entrance doorway to the Nave.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #13

Cross in the South Transept.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #12

Interior detail in the Nave.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #11

Window in the South Transept.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #10

Window in the Chancel.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #9

The Yew Tree in the square courtyard.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #8

Vaulted cloister around the courtyard.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #18

The Abbey graveyard, which is still in use today.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #17

View across the graveyard towards Muckross Lake.

Muckross Abbey - 02-05-2014 #20

Outside wall of the Chancel.