Ross Abbey : Michelin's recommendations
Although this abbey on the southern bank of Black River is in ruins, it is one of the best-preserved Franciscan monasteries in Ireland. It was probably founded in 1351 and greatly extended in 1496. The gatehouse and the enclosure date from 1572. Following the Reform, partly thanks to the protection of the 2nd Earl of Clanrickard, the friars resided here until 1753 except for a period under Cromwell's Republic. The church walls and ceiling are decorated with frescoes and the windows date from the 15C. Near the column supporting the transept arches, the end of the water spout is still visible. It collected rain water from the roof and channelled it to the underground water tank, which was later used as a tomb. In the Lady Chapel, a 1646 wall plaque displays the coat of arms of the O'Donnell family who invited the Franciscans from Ross to found a friary in Donegal. Access to the cloisters (partly preserved up to the first floor) is through an entrance at the foot of the tower. Beyond this, a second courtyard has a postern gate for entrance to the friary after dark. The kitchen contained a round fish tank and the huge fireplace backed onto a large circular oven. Above were the dormitory and chapter house. There is a beautiful view from the central tower (21.5m), which was probably added in 1498.
- Address : R 334 IRL - HeadfordHeadford