Inishmaine Abbey, Mayo, Ireland

Inishmaine Abbey once sat on an island in Lough Mask, however due to the lowering of the water level in the lake for the purpose of building a local canal the Abbey is now on an accessible peninsula. St Cormac founded a monastery at Inishmaine in the 7th century, however the present church building dates from around 1223AD when the site was re-purposed as a nunnery by the Benedictines. During the troubles of the 17th century the Abbey was burned down and all that remains is the 13th century church and 15th century gatehouse, the gatehouse would have guarded the entrance to the monastic/nunnery site. The church is entered through a flat-headed doorway in the north wall. The chancel arch is incomplete but still retains fine sculpture capitals with images of foliage and imaginary beats. The twin east window is also decorated in mouldings of wild and imaginary animals.
What remains of the Abbey at Inishmaine, though scant, is an attractive and peaceful place to visit, also its a lot of fun driving across the monolithic slabs of limestone as one approaches along the peninsula!

GPS: 53.59809, -9.3012

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