Ross Abbey in County Galway is a wonderful
example for Ireland heritage of medieval times.
Ross Abbey is the name used locally for
Ross Errilly Friary, one of the most prolific and longest surviving Franciscan
monasteries in Ireland which, after its final demise, left a superb ruin now in the care of the
Office of Public Works that can be visited for free.
The ruin is of a 15th century
monastic building with all walls, doorways, some stairs and some fascinating
features still intact.
Personally we consider Ross Abbey one of
the top tourist attractions in County Galway. It can be easily reached from
Galway City by heading North for Headford on the N84. At the crossroads in
Headford turn left for Greenfields. After about a mile look for a sign on the
right hand sight for Ross Abbey, then just follow the signs. The approach to
the monastery has a beautiful view into the valley, and a real ‘I am in the
The beauty of Ireland's medieval heritage is on show at Ross Abbey, County Galway.
Ross Abbey is a well preserved ruin and it has
some interesting features, such as the beautiful central cloister which is left
quite intact. Look out for the fish tank in the kitchen where live fish freshly
caught in the Black River out the back of the friary were kept until their time
had arrived to be cooked. An oven and bake house were close by. Look out for
the alcoves telling us where the upper levels which were dormitories, used to
be located, and notice just how low the ceilings were. Imagine a couple of
hundred monks living here and farming the surrounding lands.
What is this, you ask? If you were short a fridge and freezer, and you want to stock up on fish because you had two hundred odd mouths to feed, wouldn't you think of the same ingenious option of keeping your fish alive in a fish tank until the feast day arrived?! Pretty cool, we think.
Playing tag or hide and seek with the kids in
this place with its many enclosures and hideaways will be a real thrill. This
place has a truly medieval feel and will make for an hour of playful
exploration of Ireland heritage admiring the many intriguing features and imagining what life here
would have been like for the two hundred or more friars who were living here at
any one time during its peak years.
Make a day of it on a Sunday by visiting Ross
Abbey first, having lunch at the Sunflower Cafe in Headford or head for
Campbell’s Tavern at Cloghanover (facing Galway turn left after the large
petrol station just 2 miles from Headford which will be on your right) who have
jazz sessions popular with the whole family every other Sunday from 2-4, and
other arts and music events.
Ho there, hope you liked this page on Ross Abbey, County Galway, Ireland!
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Warmest regards, Colm & Susanna
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