Claregalway Friary

ClaregalwayBaile Chláir

Claregalway Franciscan Friary Ruins

The Friary is undoubtedly the most notable landmark in the parish of Claregalway, withstanding the ravages of time, weather and man for almost eight hundred years. It provides a very visible reminder of our heritage and religious tradition. The annual ‘Cemetery Sunday’ helps to maintain this tradition, but the Friary is open to the public all year round. When one walks in the cloister courtyard, with the River Clare flowing gently in the background, one can escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and the constant noise of traffic on the N17. Here one can achieve a sense of peace and tranquility. It is an important and unique amenity that is available to the local community and is neatly complemented by the nearby Castle and Nine Arches bridge. Architecture The Claregalway Friary building, like most other friaries in Ireland, is composed of two main parts: The church, including the tower. The living quarters, including the cloisters. Church A cruciform church is shaped like a cross. The nave and the chancel are like the upright beam of the cross, while the transepts form the arms of the cross. The transepts run north and south from the point where the chancel joins the nave, and the tower marks this point. However, the church in the Friary does not have a south transept. This church is basically rectangular shaped and like most churches of the period was built facing east, with the altar on the eastern end. The total internal length of the structure is 142 feet. The original church was built in the early pointed style of the thirteenth century. The tower, the east gable window and the north transept were added in the fifteenth century.

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