Sligo Abbey Highlights (5)
Experience the colourful and traumatic history of the abbey brought to life by our guides. Hear all about how Maurice FitzGerald, the founder of the town, constructed this remarkable building, and about how it managed to survive the ravages of historical turmoil.
Try to identify some of the nine figures carved in relief on the O’Crean tomb of 1506, the abbey’s earliest monument. The O’Creans were a wealthy and important Sligo merchant family. Find this remarkable English Gothic tomb in a recess in the north wall of the nave. The nine figures include a friar, probably St Dominic; St Michael the Archangel, recognisable by his wings, raised sword and shield; and St Peter the Apostle, holding the keys to heaven.
Declare your devotion at the Love Knot, a unique carving hidden on one of the columns in the abbey’s cloisters. The Love Knot is said to represent the bond between earthly and spiritual love. Local custom holds that it can also grant wishes. Place your hand on the stone and utter your heart’s desire. Who knows? It might just come true.
Discover Sligo Abbey’s link to one of Ireland’s most significant literary works. The story goes that Bram Stoker’s mother lived in Sligo during the cholera epidemic of 1832. Cholera caused the heartbeat and breathing to slow down, and during that time it was known for people to be buried alive as a result. Bram Stoker’s mother witnessed one such burial in the abbey’s graveyard and recounted the story to her son many years later. Many people believe this is where Bram got his inspiration for his most famous creation, the gruesome Count Dracula.
Enjoy the unique sense of tranquillity in the Dominican friary, Sligo town’s only surviving medieval structure. Take the rare chance to connect with the past in this remarkable and holy place. Listen carefully in the stillness. Can you hear echos from nine centuries of history?