On this particular day, we were driving from County Sligo to County Mayo to visit the Ceide Fields Neolithic site, an award wining heritage site located along the rugged North Mayo coastline ( https://www.outdoorfitnesssligo.com/blog/ceide-fields-neolithic-site )
We decided first to take a quick detour and visit one of Ireland's most spectacular Friaries, Rosserk Abbey. Located on the banks of the River Moy, it was built in the 15th Century by a Chieftain of the Joyces, a powerful family of Welsh origin who settled in Connacht in the 13th Century.
Rosserk Friary is well preserved making it easy to imagine what life along the Moy must have been like during the years the abbey was inhabited by a community of friars from the third order of St Francis. This order existed out of married men and women who wished to lead a Franciscan life but, because of their married status, were unable to join the First Order (Friars) or Second Order (Nuns).
The church, which has an attractive bell tower and a fine four-light east window, stands at the south side of the cloister. On the opposite side is the refectory or dining hall where once freshly caught salmon from the Moy would have been served. On the east side is a sacristy and chapter house with above it the dormitory.
In the south-east corner of the chancel is a double piscina used for washing the vessels during the mass ceremony. It features carvings of a round tower, two angels and the instruments of the passion. Many of the large fireplaces are still present to this day.
Rosserk Friary is worth the visit if you find yourself in North Mayo. Where it is one of the lesser visited monuments in ireland, it should be on your itinerary as it is one of the finest examples of a preserved Franciscan friary in Ireland.
About the Author
We are Peter & Dolores De Bie. We love the great outdoors, discovering new parts of the world and writing about our adventures along the Wild Atlantic Way and further afield