Lorrha Abbey

Augustinian Priory

A priory was founded here by the Augustinian Canons Regular sometime in the 12th century, possibly under the patronage of William de Burgh. In the following century it was burnt and rebuilt twice. What we see at the site today are the remains of a 15th century Priory. The main doorway, pictured below, consists of two orders and has a pointed arch with ogee-headed hood moulding. The apex of the doorway features a female head wearing a horned headdress. This is said to represent the wife of Walter de Burgh, Williams grandson. Indeed a head believed to represent Walter was a feature of the original east window, the arch of which removed and inserted above the doorway in the south wall of St Ruadhan's Church.

West gable

The worn head

Pictured above are the west doorway and some decoration from that doorway. The two images to the right show the entrance and the barrel-vaulted ceiling of the possible two story sacristy.

The rectangular conventual building to the south of the church, pictured above, has been converted for use as a handball alley. The pointed building to the right is the south wall of the sacristy. This shot was taken with a zoom from the graveyard at St Ruadhan's Church.

Situated: From Portumna take the N65 east for 2.5 kilometres. turn left onto the R489 for 3.7K the turn right for Lorrha. In the town turn right then left onto St Ruan's Terrace. The abbey is down here on your left.

Discovery Map 53: M 9186 0459. Last visit July 2016.

Longitude: 8° 7' 17" W

Latitude: 53° 5' 31" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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