Quin Friary, County Clare.


The stones that were used to construct Quin Friary were torn from the ruins of an earlier Anglo-Norman castle that was built by Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond in 1280. The Normans were no slouches when it came to castle-building, but only 6 years after its construction, Cuvea MacNamara and his clan, (avenging the death of a chieftain of the O’Liddy clan) stormed the fortress, killed the inhabitants, leaving the site, “...a hideous blackened cave“†. The MacNamara’s later invited the Franciscan Order to found a friary at the site in 1433. Although the Quin Abbey was included in the Henry the VII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1541, the O’Brien inheritors of the abbey allowed the monks to remain as the building slowly decayed around them.When the MacNamara’s regained control of the friary in about 1590 they began restoring it, only to have it torn down by Cromwellian forces in 1651. In succeeding years it went through various waves of restoration and neglect, until it was finally taken over by the Board of Public Works in 1880.

†From an OPW info. panel at the friary.

(Photographed in Ireland on 29 April, 2014)

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