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Heritage Ireland

Ross Errilly Franciscan Friary

A fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s best preserved Franciscan friary

Access available during daylight hours

See all opening times

Ross Errilly Franciscan Friary

A fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s best preserved Franciscan friary

Access available during daylight hours

See all opening times

Admission

Free Admission

Getting here

Headford
Co. Galway

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Ross Errilly Franciscan Friary

Established in the mid-fourteenth century, Ross Errilly Franciscan Friary is one of Ireland’s best-preserved and complete ecclesiastical settlements.

 

Established in the mid-fourteenth century for the Franciscan order by Sir William de Burgo, Ross Errilly Friary is one of Ireland’s best-preserved ecclesiastical settlements. Much of what can be seen today was then developed over the next one hundred years, with a tower being constructed in 1498. Grouped around two central cloisters are domestic quarters to the south and a church and bell-tower to the north. Its kitchen featured an oven and a water tank for live fish, as well as a bake house and a refectory.

 

The friary was confiscated by the English crown in 1538 when Henry VIII dissolved all of the monasteries in Ireland. On the 10th August 1656 Cromwell’s soldiers desecrated the site, even emptying coffins in search of gold, silver, and precious stones. Following the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the introduction of the Popery Act in 1698, the Franciscans of the friary became fugitives and abandoned the site. Returning in 1715, they remained there until the middle of that century, after which time the friary fell was neglected and fell into its current ruinous state, although burials continued there right up to the 20th century.

Protect our Past - Click here to read about the importance of protecting our country’s unique heritage sites

This national monument is protected in accordance with the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014

Opening Times

Access available during daylight hours

Notice

Ross Errilly Friary is a state-owned free National Monument in the care of the Office of Public Works

*Access to site: through gate over cattle grid / Narrow road access*

Contact

Headford
Co. Galway

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Facilities

  • Car park

Restrictions

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