Rathmullan Carmelite Priory

Map Reference: C293276 (2293, 4276)

Rathmullan Priory was founded in 1516 for the Carmelite Order by Owen Roe MacSweeney and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It survived intact until 1595 when it was plundered by Bingham. However the friars returned and repaired the place. Andre Knox, Bishop of Raphoe, obtained possession and converted the nave and transept into a private dwelling. He preserved the tower and transept as his chapel.

The church has a central tower and a south transept and has been greatly modified. The large east window has a hood mould on the outside with decorated label-stops featuring foliage. The small window in the south wall of the chancel has a hood mould with masks as label-stops. The transept is a three-storey structure with mullioned windows in the south wall and in the east wall two two-light windows at the ground floor.

These may be later insertions within tomb-niches. Between them are the remains of a double piscina with only one remaining multileaved basin. Lying near it is a fragment of a hood mould with a decorated label-stop featuring foliage and beasts. The tower seems to be about four storeys high but it is not now accessible. The west end of the church is now a gabled house with a double red brick chimney stack. At the corners of the house are projecting turrets carried on Scottish-type corbels. There is also a very fine decorated doorway built by Bishop Knox in 1618.

To the north are the remains of the cloister garth but no arcade. There are remains of buildings at the north-east corner of the cloister-garth.

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