Moor Abbey – Riverview, Ireland - Atlas Obscura

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Moor Abbey

Riverview, Ireland

The remains of a 13th-century Franciscan friary have survived multiple attempts at destruction, most recently in 1921. 


The Franciscan friary called Moor Abbey is east of Galbally village and overlooked by the Galtee Mountains. It was established in the early 13th century by Donnchadh Cairprech Ó Briain, King of Thomond. The original buildings on this site burned down in 1472 and the current buildings were constructed at that time.

The buildings were occupied by Franciscans monks until 1541 when the friary was dissolved and became the property of the brother of the 14th Earl of Desmond.

The following century witnessed multiple assaults from government forces including the invading armies of Oliver Cromwell. The Franciscans were once again able to regain residence in 1658 and remained until 1748 until a dispute with the Vicar-General of the Cashel and Emly Diocese. The buildings remain uninhabited since this time and fell into disrepair. It is claimed that the Royal Irish Constabulary failed in their attempt to detonate the buildings in 1921.

The ruined church consists of a nave and chancel, separated by a tall bell tower. The main walls of the building and the tower remain in place, although a misguided attempt to rejuvenate the building in 2000 resulted in an additional entrance being added.

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