26 Feb Moyne Abbey , County Mayo
This large ruin of a friary shares much with its neighbour , Rosserk. Both compete for the title of largest and most impressive ecclesiastical ruins in Mayo. Moyne was founded as a Franciscan friary by the Burke family , built in late Irish Gothic style and consecrated in 1462.
The church has a nave and chancel separated from a South aisle by robust round pillars. The ruins are dominated by a tall bell tower built over the chancel arch , and a hole for a bell rope can still be seen in the ceiling. Incised in the plaster next to the West door is an unusual 16th century picture of a ship.
There are enough domestic details left of the abbey to make it possible to imagine how the monks lived there. The abbey’s life ended after 1590 , when it was destroyed by Sir Richard Bingham , Elizabeth I’s zealous governor of Connaught.
Moyne Abbey is a spectacular sight that is a real hidden gem and worth a visit on your tours of Ireland.