The location of the Augustinian Priory at Baiinskelligs Bay is simply stunning. You can see why the monks, who had abandoned the isolated monastery on Skellig Michael, decided to build their new monastery here on the shores of the bay. The monks moved to the mainland sometime in the 12th century and dedicated the priory to St Michael.
Besides the beautiful location, the most obvious thing we noticed was the amount of conservation work being carried out. There is a roofless two-storey building, pictured right, in the north west of the enclosure. Immediately south east of this is a long rectangular church.
View across the bay
The two-storey building
In the southeast corner of the graveyard are the scant remains of a tower house which may have been the priors residence. Situated between the tower house and the church is a domestic building. South of the church are a number of two storey tomb vaults. There are also the scattered remnants of the cloister garth.
It was a delight to wander around the priory, marveling at the craftsmanship used in the various types of windows and doorways. Most of the present buildings date to the 15th century.
Situated: Easy. From Ballinskelligs head south on the R566 along the couast for 600 metres and turn left.
Discovery Map 83: V 4336 6501. Last visit Sept 2012.
Longitude: 10° 16' 18" W
Latitude: 51° 48' 56" N
Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.