Creevelea Franciscan Friary

Map Reference: G799314 (1799, 3314)

Creevelea Franciscan Friary was founded by Owen O'Rourke and his wife, Margaret, in 1508 and was the last Franciscan friary to be founded in Ireland before the Suppression of the Monasteries.

It has a long rectangular church with a central tower. The pointed west doorway is surmounted by a large traceried window and there is a large four-light east window with flamboyant tracery.

The south transept has a two-bay arcade. Only fragments remain of the large south window.

In the east wall of the transept are two two-light windows set within round-headed recesses. The south wall of the choir is lit by four windows with two round-headed lights.

There is a credence table to the right of the east window. The cloister stands to the north of the church.

Some portions of the cloister arcade have been restored. Many of the original pillars are decorated with a single gothic letter.

The arch of one of the bays has a carving of St Francis showing the stigmata and at the base of the pillar is another carving showing St Francis preaching to the birds.

The tower is three storeys high and is vaulted above the ground floor. The upper levels are not accessible. There is a small mask high up on the south wall. There are extensive ranges of building surrounding the cloister.

The friary was accidentally burned in 1536 and suppressed five years later. However it continued in use and the friars took possession again in 1601. Some Franciscans repaired the church in 1642 but were forced to leave by the Cromwellians. They were allowed to return later and roof the church with thatch but probably left towards the end of the 17th century.

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 Ardfert, Co Kerry Lislaughtin, Co Kerry Muckross, Co Kerry Castledermott, Co Kildare 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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