Ardfert Franciscan Friary

Map Reference: Q791212 (0791, 1212)

The friary was probably founded by Thomas Fitzmaurice about 1253 for the Franciscans of the Conventual Rule, though the Observantine rule was adopted in 1518.

The friary has a rectangular church with a south transept and a south aisle. The transept has a west aisle. There are five lancet windows in the east wall and nine lancet windows in the south wall. Also in the south wall are a number of tomb niches and a possible sedilia.

There are two tomb niches in the north wall. The cloister lies to the north of the church. The east of the cloister walk is intact and the south cloister arcade is in present. There are four three-light bays on each side.

A two-storey building to the east of the cloister has vaulted rooms at ground floor level and the remains of a spiral stairway at the south end. At the west end of the church is a fine tower rising to six storeys. It is vaulted above the first floor. The upper levels are reached initially by an external stairway. There is another vault above the third floor. At the second floor there is a small mural chamber which may be a garderobe. Two stairways lead from this level to the north and south roof of the church. The roofway is intact on the south side. Another stairway leads to the higher levels of the tower.

Above the second vault are two more storeys and another small mural chamber at the fourth floor. Beyond the fourth floor level the stairway becomes a spiral and rises to roof level. At the fourth and fifth floors there are good window seats. There is a small guard chamber to the right of the entrance from the external stairway. On the outside of the south wall between the church and the tower is a good squinch carried on corbels.

For more photos of Ardfert Franciscan Friary click HERE

For more examples of Franciscan Friaries click on the following links

Bonamargy, Co Antrim Armagh, Co Armagh Ennis, Co Clare Quin, Co Clare Buttevant, Co Cork Timoleague, Co Cork Claregalway, Co Galway Kilconnell, Co Galway Meelick, Co Galway Rosserrily, Co Galway Lislaughtin, Co Kerry Muckross, Co Kerry Castledermott, Co Kildare Creevelea, Co Leitrim Adare, Co Limerick Askeaton, Co Limerick Dundalk, Co Louth Moyne, Co Mayo Rosserk, Co Mayo Nenagh, Co Tipperary Roscrea, Co Tipperary

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