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“Beautiful medieval ruins with very rare art!”
Review of Abbeyknockmoy

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Reviewed 1 November 2016

Abbeyknockmoy is a beautiful 12th century Cistercian abbey, located very near the little town of Abbey, Co. Galway. It's about a 40 minute drive from Galway City but is well worth the trip!

There is lots to see in the ruins of the abbey, with most of the nave, transept and presbytery all surviving. The large wall in front of the presbytery was erected in the 15th century when the church was too large for the declining local population.

The rest of the buildings on the site are the east and south ranges, which would have contained domestic areas such as the dormitory (up the stairs beside the presbytery) and administrative rooms, such as the chapter room.

The most interesting feature at Abbeyknockmoy is the medieval art, including stone sculpture and rare wall paintings. The carved head of the patron sits on top of one of the pillars on the right, when you enter the church. The wall paintings are in the room at the end of the church (presbytery) behind the barred doors. They are in a poor condition, having spent centuries exposed to the elements, before the roof and windows were added in the 1980s. Wall paintings are extremely rare in Ireland due to the weather - they are often painted on plaster, which is destroyed by the rain.

The abbey is a wonderful place to visit and explore. The nearby town has a number of pubs and a service station.

If you are travelling from Galway to Mayo or Sligo up the N17, Abbeyknockmoy is worth the detour!

Thank KeithLeoSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 February 2016 via mobile

We had a lovely afternoon with a walk in Monivea Woods with our 2 daughters and our dog. It was a lovely sunny day. We followed our walk with a pint in Kelly's pub; Which were lovely. We then had dinner in Mc Gann's Pub. It was easy, cheap and yummy. I would recommend this restaurant for a family dinner out. The girls particularly enjoyed the homemade chicken nuggets. The chicken curry was yum. Simple, but good. Big Portions and very reasonably priced. We had 2 drinks and 4 dinners. All for 40 euro!!! We would recommend this outing!!!! Thanks.

2  Thank Krtty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2015 via mobile

Lovely abbey, well worth a visit. Situated in abbeyknockmoy village this is a lovely 13th century Cistercian abbey with a wonderful atmosphere. It is in very good repair and surprisingly big. Go there and try to imagine what it must have been like 700 years ago!

Thank Kerryman92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Abbeyknockmoy is the site of an ancient Abbey whose remains still stand in glorious testament to the learned and powerful past of this small Galway community. Abbeyknockmoy was originally a Cistercian abbey founded in 1190 by the King of Connacht, Cathal Crobhdearg Ua Conchobair, in fulfilment of a vow made prior to a victory gained by Cathal against the English forces under Almeric de St. Lawrence. Cathal died a Cistercian monk and was buried there in 1224. The monastery was plundered by William de Burgo in 1200 and its ruins remain to full height and grandeur. It is said that the abbey was courtyard was he burial site for many locals who suffered and died in the Great Famine of 1840s Ireland.

I visit the area most years as a tourist.

For most of it's recent life Abbey - as it's called by the locals - life it has been the 'centre' for local 'townslands' or farming community consisting then of a few houses, its modern church -St Bernard’s and it's grocers and bars. It has grown recently with much new housing and is now thriving tho not quite a town yet. The 2 bars are Donoghue's where generations of the family - currently Sean Snr and Sean Jnr - have hosted many a night of celebration. It is a large warm, wood panelled modern bar on the site of the old shop/ bar which was common in countryside for many decades. It also has sports TV and pool room. Their shop is now part of the service station opposite and has a full range of supermarket products including hot food takeaways. A range of shops and another takeaway are nearby. The more traditional bar nearby is Mannions. Sadly the owner Frank and Mary have now passed away but the place still echoes to singing and the 'crac' from locals. There are a few nice B and Bs in the vicinity.

Abbeyknockmoy is roughly half way between the towns of Tuam and Athenry both with plenty of shops, pubs and Restaurants. Both are historic towns with ancient Celtic pasts, both towns also have religious significance and their important medieval history as can be seen by the castles, keeps and priories that survive to this day. The whole area is steeped in Irish History - Stone Age, Celtic, and Anglo-Norman - and Abbeyknockmoy Abbey itself is well worth a visit if you are in Galway or passing through the region. Monivea is a very pretty little town nearby also with bars and eateries - ask to see the French Mausoleum - a stunning funeral chapel which houses the remains of Robert Percy Ffrench and his daughter - it is hidden deep in the forest - very spooky!!!

For film buffs the old railway station and nearby Ballyglunnin was the setting for a scene in The Quiet Man - Directed by John Ford. With John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond.

11  Thank billhManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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