Yesterday I cycled to work instead of driving. As always I try to bring a camera with me whereever I go so I threw my compact into my rucksack. Everyday I drive past this ruined Friary in Claregalway and think to myself I should try to photograph it in the morning. But normally I’m driving on my way to work so don’t stop.
As the weather was perfect (blue sky, no shadows) and it was easier for me to pull I spent a few minutes and am very happy with the result.
The Claregalway Friary is a medieval Franciscan abbey. Today, the abbey buildings and grounds are open to the public free of charge.
In 1538, forces under the command of Lord Leonard Gray ransacked and looted the abbey while on march to Galway. In 1570, Queen Elizabeth I granted possession of the monastery to Sir Richard de Burgo. In 1589, the monastery buildings were turned into a barracks under the administration of the English provincial governor, Sir Richard Bingham.
During the reign of King James, Claregalway Friary was given to the Earl of Clanrickarde. By 1641, the Franciscans had reoccupied the abbey, but the building was in poor repair and the community lacked the ability to renovate it. The burial grounds surrounding the building are maintained and still in use.