Ennis Friary





This 13th century Franciscan friary, founded by the O’Briens, of Thomond who once ruled much of north Munster, has numerous 15th/16th century sculptures carved in the local hard limestone:

A carved image of St. Francis displaying the stigmata is evident in the nave. He carries a cross staff and wears the Franciscan habit. Under the south arch of the tower, an elaborate tracery canopy of the late 15th century was perhaps part of an ornate tomb.  The corbels supporting this are carved on one side with a bishop and, on the other, the Virgin & Child. An arch between the nave and transept bears, in a niche, an image of “Ecce Home” or “Christ’s Pity”. His hands are bound and tokens of the crucifixion are arranged about. The magnificent east window, with its five tall, narrow lancets, lights the chancel.  The chancel once contained several royal and aristocratic tombs, among those remaining at the friary are the canopy of the Inchiquin/O’ Brien tomb and also the Creagh tomb which incorporates five sculptured passion panels from the much older MacMahon Tomb. Set into the back of this tomb is thirteen carved figures representing Christ and the Apostles, all dating from the mid 15th century.

The visitor to Ennis Friary can also see the sacristy, an impressive structure with ribbed, barrel-vaulted ceiling. After the suppression of the monasteries the Friary became a venue for assize courts and the sacristy was used as a courtroom.
Leading out from the sacristy is the cloister area where part of the arcade has been reconstructed.

Guided Tours: Available on request
Maximum no: 30
Duration: 45 minutes


Address

Abbey Street,
Ennis,
Co. Clare
ennisfriary@opw.ie
Phone: 65 682 9100
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