Quin Friary, Clare, Ireland

Quin Franciscan Friary was founded in 1402 by Síoda Cam MacNamara incorporating elements of an earlier short-lived castle, built by Thomas de Clare, and on the site of a monastery that in turn predated that castle! Little is know of the original monastery at Quin other than it was destroyed in a fire, what is known is that the Anglo-Norman Lord Thomas de Clare commenced work on a castle at this site in 1278, finishing in 1281. After de Clare was defeated at the battle of Dysert O’Dea in 1318 the Mac Namaras destroyed the castle and later granted the site to the Franciscans. Parts of this earlier castle are evident today, the foundations of three of the corner towers remain from this time.

The Franciscan Friary was constructed in stages between 1402 and 1433 for Fathers Purcell and Mooney first by Síoda and later by his son Maccon. Many of the features at Quin date from this age and this is what gives the site such noteworthy historical worth. In 1541 during the Reformation of King Henry VIII the friary was confiscated and passed into the hands of Conor O’Brian, Earl of Thomond. The friary was recaptured by the MacNamaras in 1590, who refurbished the buildings, eventually adapting the friary into a college, by 1640 it had over 800 students. Sadly the arrival of Oliver Cromwell hastened the end of the college when troops under his command murdered the friars and destroyed the friary.

Attempts were made to restore the friary in 1671, but subsequently Quin Friary never held the esteemed positioned it once had. The Friars were expelled in 1760, although the last Friar, named John Hogan resided there until his death in 1820.

GPS: 52.81923, -8.8631

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