IMG_4102_1

Inchicronan Abbey, Crusheen, Co Clare

Looking east along the old church
Looking east along the old church

Inchicronan Abbey was built in the twelfth century on the site of an earlier monastery. It is situated on the lake of the same name, at the tip of a long peninsula.

The east window
The east window

The abbey was sacked and burned by Cromwellian troops under General Ludlow in 1651. The treasures of the abbey were reportedly placed in a large urn and thrown into the lake, where even today they are supposed to be guarded by a huge eel. Conor O’Brien, husband of Maire Rua of Leameneh Castle, was mortally wounded in the battle against the Cromwellian army.

Looking south into the transept
Looking south into the transept

In centuries past when Crusheen had no priest, the monks of Inchicronan would go to Crusheen to perform the last rites for the dying. It happened that one stormy winter’s night a man arrived at the abbey and asked one of the friars to attend his dying mother. The friar, deterred by the wildness of the weather, decided to wait until the morning when the storm had abated. The woman, however, died in the night. When the monk passed away, he was buried in the Abbey graveyard. On several occasions since, when someone in the village was about to die, lights have reportedly been seen moving across the causeway and through the village, hovering over the home of the unfortunate before crossing over the lake and back to the abbe graveyard. The lights are said to be the spirit of the friar making the journey he had not made in his lifetime.

IMG_4110

14th-century sacristy doorway: note figure carved  on lower right
14th-century sacristy doorway: note figure carved on lower right

IMG_4111

Leave us a comment