Wednesday 12 May 2010

Quin Abbey

From the back of the card:
Quin Abbey, former Franciscan Friary, was built between 1350 and 1402.  Consisting of a nave and a chancel with a tall tower between, the Abbey contains the tombs of the founder McNamara.  Suppressed in 1541, the Friars later returned, and though driven out again in 1641, they remained on in the district until 1740.  A National Monument, Quin Abbey is one of the highlights of the Medieval Tour from Shannon, which features a realistic Medieval Banquet in Bunratty Castle.
This is another of the John Hinde postcards that sounds as though it has been written by the tourist board.  It was sent during the 1980s to my father.  Of course there is rather more to the history of the Abbey than being part of a Medieval Tour.

The site of the Abbey had been occupied by a wooden monastery long before the abbey itself was built, but this burnt down in 1278.  That was then replaced by a Norman castle fortress built by Thomas de Clare, who recognised its strategic position.  The ruins of this fortress can still be seen.

A church replaced it, then the abbey but that merely started a new phase of change.  First it was confiscated during Henry VIII's Reformation, but no sooner had it recovered from the neglect that ensued, than it came to the attention of Oliver Cromwell.  Again it was ransacked.  Nevertheless, it rose again and it wasn't until 1820 that the last friar died.

A long, brave, and chequered history, now part of a Medieval Tour.  It all seems a little false to me, rather like the couple in the foreground.  Or am I being too harsh?

Q is for Quin Abbey.  A post for ABC Wednesday.


  1. Looks in such a peaceful setting for all the mayhem that has visited it.

  2. I really love old castles and this one is beautiful. You have some really lovely postcards here. I've been enjoying looking through your archives.
    Cheers, from Tasmania.

  3. I much prefer your explanation about the Abbey! I think this is one I'd love to see in person.

  4. No, I don't think you're being harsh at all ;-)

  5. Nice blog btw... Awesome postcards! Please come visit mine. i'm from Indonesia.

  6. I love the castle, but the scenery around it is quite nice too.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  7. Castles like this always have a secret past, especially when you're taking about the Reformation and Henry VIII. You are right, there is a false identity associated with the description.


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