Cong Abbey, Attraction, Mayo

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: June 24, 2013
  • Updated: December 12, 2017
Location: Mayo
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Cong Abbey is a historic site located at Cong, on the borders of counties Galway and Mayo, in Ireland's province of Connacht. The ruins of the former Augustinian abbey mostly date to the 13th century and have been described as featuring some of finest examples of medieval ecclestial architecture in Ireland. In the early 7th century, a church was built at this site, reportedly by Saint Feichin. A later building was destroyed by fire in 1114. Within the next twenty years or so, Turlough Mor O’Connor, the High King of Ireland, refounded the abbey. Raiders from Munster destroyed the buildings in 1137 but they were rebuilt by King Turlough. In 1198, his son, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (Rory O'Connor), Ireland's last High King, constructed new buildings and also lived the last 15 years of his life at the abbey. He died here and was reportedly briefly buried in the abbey before being re-interred and buried at Clonmacnoise.Cong Abbey was also closely associated with the O'Duffy family at least from 1097 to 1501. The Annals of the Four Masters record that in 1150, Muireadhach Ua Dubhthaigh, Archbishop of Connacht, died at Cong aged 75. His name is inscribed upon the processional Cross of Cong.The Norman knight, William de Burgh, attacked Cong in 1203, and again the abbey was rebuilt.In the 13th century the abbey was reconstructed and dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. Cong Abbey was suppressed in 1542 during the reign of Henry VIII. Although it was at times used by monks after that point, it later fell into ruins.The first restoration of the abbey was started by Benjamin Guinness in 1855, soon after he had bought nearby Ashford Castle in 1852.

1. Cong Abbey, Attraction, Mayo

Altitude: 12 m