Wednesday, 15 June 2016


Corcomroe Cistercian Abbey was built during the latter part of the twelfth century by Domnal Mór Ua Briain, who was the King of Thomond of the Dál gCais clan (their lands being counties Clare, Limerick and part of Tipperary).  
Donal was the patron of several such religious buildings and I presume that this investment paid off by having the clergy under your control and onside during the Norman invasion which was instigated by the King of Leinster, Diarmait Mac Murchada. It was four hundred years later that the Dál gCais finally came under Anglo - Norman control.

The last Abbot was John O’Dea in 1628, after which it became dissolute.

In the bottom righthand corner you can see a warning notice about not standing on the graves.

Tomb of Conor O'Brien, King of Thomond who died in 1268.

During my recent visit to Corcromroe Abbey I and a local man were rather disappointed with the visitors who, with total lack of awareness, were walking across the gravestones as if they were paving slabs. 
This, despite the numerous notices asking them not to do so. 
They seemed not realise that they were walking on history and graves, a great many years older than the U.S. itself.
My fear is that eventually these old inscribed stones will be so worn away that there will be nothing left to admire. 

The central carving above is believed to be an anchor? 
An arch of hearts?

I talk to the crows and have been doing so for a number of years. 

When I noticed this one perched high up on a gable end I called up and said 
“ Hello Crow, I have come to visit your home place” to which I received a soft 
‘ Caw - awk ’ in return, as she glanced down at me.
You have to mind yourself with Crows and treat them carefully for they can understand what we say; in a similar way the Starlings too can understand me.
Several months back our wonderful black cat, Magic, died and as I was burying him the Starlings were sat in a long line on a wire above the garden noisily chattering away to each other. 
I wanted silence to do what I had to do, so I raised my arms to them and said 
“Be quiet now, show some respect” and they remained silent until all was complete.

If you visit the links below you can read more about the Abbey, in greater detail.

I won't be updating this blog until after the Summer Solstice - 20th June.


  1. What interesting place. I once took a history tour of our local cemetery and learn a lot about symbols of grave stone. The Acorn could possible mean..wisdom, from the tree of knowledge. Connect with others. But also it could mean power, strength, endurance, longevity and virtue. It all depends on your faith and area what meaning might be....Coffee is on

    1. Thank you for your comment Dora, definitely food for thought m'mmm

  2. Thank you for taking me there! I see the abbot holding the crozier blesses as St Paul, instead of St John whom I am partial to, although i too would prefer the crow. (or is it a jackdaw? It is not a raven sent from Odin at least.) Enjoy solstice!

    1. Thank you for commenting OVG actually I know very little about Christian stuff, for it's not an interest of mine. Crows, Jackdaws and Ravens are wonderful birds they feature greatly in Celtic mythology as you know.
      This Summer Solstice will be particularly enhanced by the Full Moon and I so want to connect with it's double energy!

  3. Hi Mel - it must be a beautiful place to visit .. with so much history. Unfortunately we don't realise our history and its legacy is so valuable for so many now and later when we can understand much more - we hope ... with thoughts for the Summer Solstice ... I hope the weather is fair ... Hilary

    1. Thank you Hilary.
      One thought that always goes through my head whenever I visit these ancient structures, is how on earth did they manage to erect them without any of today's modern equipment. For the scaffolding must have been of wooden poles, mortars mixed by hand etc the undertaking was immense.

  4. Enjoy your few days of solstice! Thanks for sharing such remarkable history. Too bad they'll soon probably have to fence off those graves stones (which still won't stop many people).

    1. I think that one way of protecting the historic building would be to have an entrance charge and use part of the fees for restoration/ protection etc. For at the moment it is totally free to enter.
      Thank you for the comment I shall enjoy the Solstice to the best of my ability :-)

  5. I'm careful in churches and graveyards and am always surprised to see people walking on graves. Didn't know you could communicate with crows, magpies yes, but not crows.

    1. Thank you Janet.
      It is possible to communicate with quite a few birds. Crows it seems can bear grudges if treated badly and pass on the information to other crows to make a retaliation on the individual.

  6. I find it shocking that people walk on graves.
    I love crows. They always seem like messengers. I love that the starlings were respectful.
    Enjoy the Solstice :-) xx

    1. Thank you Teresa.
      We are currently in grief over Jo Cox MP


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