Corrick Abbey, Tyrone, Ireland

With a commanding view of the meeting of the Owenkillew and Glenelly rivers are the scant remains of a late 15th century Franciscan friary know as Corrick Abbey. Only one gable is fairly intact and still houses one of the original windows. It is thought that a monastery may have existed at this site as early as the 6th century. The Franciscan Friary was founded in 1465 and flourished until the dissolution of the monasteries when the land and friary were given to Sir Henry Piers, who subsequently sold it to a Sir Arthur Chichester. In time it was granted to the Hamilton family, some of whose headstones dot the overgrown graveyard. In Samuel Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837) he record that the Hamilton family still held the lands at that time. Lewis recorded that there may have been a castle or fort at the site too stating, “There are some highly picturesque remains of this abbey, affording an idea of the original extent and elegance of the buildings. Here was also a strong castle or fortress, of which there are some remains. The district appears to have been distinguished at an early period as the scene of various important battles, and In the vastnesses of its mountains the lawless and daring found a secure asylum. In the 1930s there had been recorded evidence of overgrown walls to the north of the present day ruins, however evidence of these monastic buildings may have been lost forever as the graveyard sits adjacent to a concreted farmyard. At the time of my visit in mid July the graveyard was very overgrown but I have noticed that subsequently the grounds have been tended to and the overgrowth cut back. Care is advised on approach to the abbey as its a very windy single lane boreen.

GPS: 54.73945, -7.29886

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