Near Headford lies this gem. And it truly is one.
I have seen many ruins during the last years. Some of them are magnificent, some are just a couple of stones in a field.
But this friary truly is stunning!
The roof is missing, and the second floor doesn’t exist anymore. Some of those steps lead into nowhere, but overall it’s in really good condition. The most amazing thing, however, is its size! It is huge! You walk on and on and on and turn around a corner and spot another area, then another room. These ruins are awesome for explorers and lovers of ruins and history.
The Friary was founded in 1351, enlarged in 1498 and became one of the largest Franciscan foundations in Ireland. Today it is one of the best preserved in the country.
The cloister was for meditation, the church for prayers and services, the domestic buildings for cooking, eating and sleeping.
The church and the bell tower are to one side of the small central cloister and the domestic buildings to the other. Among them are the kitchen, the bake house, and the dining area. The dormitories were on the upper level.
The monks were expelled seven times, but they returned to their Friary each time. 1753 the friary was abandoned and since then fell to ruin.
There is a small parking spot in front of the building and a small road leads to it. It’s open to the public and free to access, but there are surveillance cameras and newer graves inside. And, as you can see, the people back then sure were smaller. So be careful when walking around so that you don’t hit your head!
Even though these are ruins, stones near a field, never be without respect when walking among these grounds. Be careful where you walk and don’t damage anything.