Ballinskelligs Priory

Ballinskelligs , Co. Kerry

Ballinskelligs Priory
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About Ballinskelligs Priory

Ballinskelligs Priory in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry.

Ballinskelligs Augustinian Priory was founded for monks who came to the mainland from Skellig Michael in the 12th or 13th century, and was dedicated to St. Michael. It consists of a range of buildings with the ruins of a church near the sea. There are a number of two-storey tombs, all of which have been opened revealing coffin fragments and bones.

The Priory had some associations with nearby Ballinskelligs Castle. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s under Henry VIII, McCarthy Mór owner of the castle, took possession of the Abbey and housed a garrison in it. In 1620 the Abbey's ownership passed to Christopher Sigerson.

Local folkore has it that, following a storm, a hole opened up between the Priory and the Castle that contained the skeletal remains of the monks of the Abbey, their skulls cut in the front by either a sword or axe.

Image © Copyright Ulrich Hartmann and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons.

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