Moyne Abbey

An impressive ecclesiastical ruin just north of Ballina

Moyne Abbey is one of most impressive ecclesiastical ruins in Mayo and a National Monument. It was founded by the Burke family as a Franciscan friary and consecrated in 1462 and is located north of Ballina on the west side of Killala Bay.

Like its neighbour, Rosserk Friary, it was burnt by Sir Richard Bingham, Elizabeth I of England’s governor of Connacht, in 1590 in reformationist zeal. The friary was built in the late Irish Gothic style and has extensive ruins, consisting of a church and domestic buildings situated around a central cloister. Its west doorway is a seventeenth century insertion, and its east window displays fine switchline tracery.

Today, over 550 years since its consecration, a very large part of the original structure of Moyne Abbey stands intact in the present-day landscape of North Mayo. However, as a point of note to intending visitors, Moyne Abbey is not directly accessible from the roadside. To date, it has not been developed as a modern tourist site with visitor access across what is private land. For these reasons, visitors should note that it is unlikely to be possible to access the site. This is especially relevant for visitors who experience impaired mobility.

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