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Downpatrick Head Rosserk Abbey Moyne Abbey Ceide Fields Tobar Mhuire Killala Round tower

Rosserk Abbey Mayo Tour

Rosserk Abbey lies near Ballina in County Mayo, reached down maze of leafy lanes. It is Franciscan, having been built in 1460 for a group of Third Order Franciscans, who, being unable to be monks and nuns because they were married, still wanted to live in a monastic community. Rosserk, like so many abbeys, is in a setting of great natural beauty, in a sheltered sea estuary amid fertile land. It was burnt down by the then Governor of Connaught, who similarly torched nearby Moyne Abbey, around 1590.

Now, it lies open to the skies, the magnificent arched window in the church all the more stark in its simple beauty. It is a complex, complete monastery, filled with more recent graves and gravestones, as well as stairs and passages, windows, rooms.

In the south east corner of the chancel is a double piscina, unique in that it has a round tower carved on one of the pillars. Other carvings include two angels and the instruments of passion. The domestic buildings are well preserved, with three vaulted rooms on each side.

The dormitory, refectory and kitchen were on the upper floor, where two fireplaces back to back may be seen.

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