Thursday, 6 October 2016

PORTUMNA PRIORY

Aerial view showing close proximity
of Castle and Priory.


Within the demesne of Portumna Castle exist, the ruins of Portumna Priory built around 1254. 
It was originally a Cistercian chapel, a sister house of the monastery at Dunbrody, Co Wexford. 
In 1426 the priory was taken over by the Dominicans when a papal indulgence was granted for its completion.
The Priory came under the patronage of the Earl of Clanricarde, de Burgo, in 1577 and contains the tomb of the Earl and his wife, although the location is unknown. 
During the Reformation the Priory was suppressed and then revived again in 1640.  
Eventually it was abandoned by the Friars when their numbers reduced to three in 1712 .  

After lying unused for fifty years Portumna Priory was taken over by the Anglican Church of Ireland until 1832 when they built their own church.



The Cloisters
 were partially restored in 1954 by the Office of Public Works.

The long shadows where monks once strolled


They stand as sentinels of a bygone age.


Under the splendid arches to the chancery window.


I felt nothing but a contemplative peacefulness as I strolled
around.


As with Portumna Castle, the ruins of the Priory are now a national monument. 








24 comments:

  1. Lovely photos - it looks like a very atmospheric place.

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    1. Yes it is!
      In fact I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and generally I am not naturally drawn towards those places and only visit them
      to make a photographic record for the blog :-)

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  2. I agree about the peacefulness of those scenes Heron - it even comes over in the photographs - especially (for me) the one of the restored cloisters.

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    1. Thank you Pat. Those cloisters drew me in from the road it was as if they were magnetised !

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  3. Excellent photos! Looks like a nice place to visit, very peaceful and inviting.

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    1. Thank you Bill it is all to do with the camera you know and I know that you know.

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  4. Dear Mel, I wish I could come along when you take your little outings. It seems to me that you just have to move a few miles and - tada - temple, monastery, church, belltower, ancient cult place, colourful meadows. This however is very much like the remains of the monasteries built around 1000-1100 up west in Sweden. Those were the days of the elected kings, there where several and half of Sweden was danish so we had danish kings as well. Some of those great manors and halls can still be found, a monastery like this I have several pictures of, they couldn't get me out, I kept climbing, sneeking and crawling to get the proper feeling of the old walls and arches.... Thank you for this wonderful visit!!!! This is FT speaking in hope of getting heard!!

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    1. So all is working fine for you :-)
      There are a lot of historic buildings, ruins and monuments to be visited and you would have a lots of field days here FT.
      Thank you for the appreciation.

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  5. Great shots, something rather splendid to contemplate as you stroll through

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    1. I often think about the old builders and also of the people who lived in these old buildings as I walk around with my camera. Wondering what they were like as people if the monks were as totally sincere as we are led to believe.

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  6. What is it that attracts us to the cloisters? Perhaps they retain something of the peace and seclusion of yesteryear.

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    1. Am sure that you are right Sue, for it has to be something like that.
      Many thanks for your insight.

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  7. Although very picturesque, and although I don't share their beliefs, it's a shame that so much of this way of life was suppressed and then abandoned; we could certainly all do with some contemplative peacefulness today.

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    1. I am of a similar mind as yourself John which is why I practise transcendental meditation. Many thanks for your constructive comment.

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  8. Beautiful photos. Once I can stomach the idea of leaving home again, even for a few days, I think Ireland will be at the top of the list (and I'll use your blog to figure out where).

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    1. Thank you for the compliment Mitch and the land of a Hundred Thousand Welcomes will be glad to be your host !

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  9. Hi Mel - what a wonderfully interesting place ... I think when one is away from other visitors and can sit and contemplate ... we can bring back something of those ancient times ... another place I'd love to visit and to experience ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you for your reflective comment Hilary.
      Not every visitor to the old priory will "bring back something of those ancient times". I think that a lot depends upon an individuals mien; in other words those who have a religion will recognise differently to those who have a spirituality.

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  10. Thelma said : Did your monasteries and priories suffer under the Suppression, as the English ones did? It looks a very beautiful and peaceful place.

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    1. Yes indeed Thelma the suppression of the Reformation bit as heavily in Ireland as it did in England please see
      http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/history/15411598.html
      The ruins of the Priory do indeed exude a serenity judt as you describe.
      Thank you for the comment.

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  11. Such a shame that these places were allowed to fall into ruins after so many years service. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could see them in their true glory. The cloisters are beautiful xxx

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    1. Agreed Fran, except that the financial cost of doing so would be enormous.

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