Quin Abbey

Quin , Co. Clare

Quin Abbey
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About Quin Abbey

Quin Abbey in Quin, Co. Clare.

Quin Abbey was built for the Franciscans between 1402 and 1433 by the McNamaras. Although mostly roofless, the structure of the abbey is relatively well preserved. There is an intact cloister, and many other surviving architectural features make the abbey of significant historical value.

A far earlier monastery had existed on the site, which burned down in 1278. A Norman castle was built soon after by Thomas de Clare, a military commander. Around 1350 the castle, by then a ruin, was rebuilt as a church by the McNamara clan. It was this structure which the MacNamaras subsequently rebuilt as the present abbey. In 1541, during the Reformation, King Henry VIII confiscated the abbey and it passed into the hands of Conor O'Brian, Earl of Thomond. In about 1590 the MacNamaras regained control of the abbey and once again set about repairing and restoring it. In about 1640 the building became a college and is alleged to have had 800 students. Ten years later Cromwell arrived, murdered the monks and destroyed the abbey. In 1671 the abbey was once again restored, but never regained its former status.

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