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“Hauntingly Beautiful”
Review of Ardfert Friary

Ardfert Friary
Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in Ardfert
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Owner description: This 13th-century monastery also houses a pair of well-preserved cloisters that date back to the 1400s.
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

We were nearly alone when we visited and thankful the kids left soon after we arrived. Just takes away from the ambience when they treat it as a playground. This ruin can be hard to find. Look for the Ardfert Friary Car Park sign on the street and the walking access is right next to that. About a quarter mile walk, BUT on a very well maintained path. Well worth a stop!!!!!

Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 21 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2017

This is the most beautiful place we travelled to and purely by chancing people's revues. The ruin has its central tomb area exposed to the elements, and the tombs of priests surrounded by a carpet of grass and flowers. The building stairs are not to be climbed as the locals are trying to stop it decaying further, however you can walk safely through this ruin. For more history on the gem of a walk, with a beautiful juxtaposition of cathedral arches and nature creeping in, pop up to the town cathedral 2 mins drive up the hill and for very little cost, check out the museum and history there in. The cathedral is just as beautiful and larger, both are worth the visit.

Thank croiamhran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2016

Great walk down to the friary. If is very deserted and you will be by yourself in the quiet of the surrounding fields. It is best to park at the site and you will walk about 150 meters from there. Amazing stones destroyed from the walls about 450 years ago.

1  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2016

Tucked away down a little laneway is the Friary. The ruins can be accessed for free and enable the visitor to imagine another time and place, another way of being. Be prepared for rain - this is Ireland and there is no shelter at the site. There is limited signage so the imagination can fly. The ruins provide an insight into the lives of the Friars when the local cathedral and priory (entrance charge for this one) dominated the Catholic landscape of the area.
The little Abbey Court coffee shop back on the main road is a must. The eclectic collection of books and souvenirs enticing and the hot apple pie a must.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 May 2016

This Franciscan Abbey is the only surviving one of three religious congregations that once clustered around the nucleus that is the huge cathedral that was in Ardfert.

Today, though a ruin, the Friary is well preserved and allows you experience and ponder the story of the various remaining parts of the grand structure.Its architecture is quite stunning when you consider when it was built. Not just the lancet windows that had to be hand carved but the clever stone roof, of which part remains, that collected and directed rain water to a collection trough. The cloister is almost intact as is the tower.

Remains consist of the choir, nave, cloister and dormitory and a thirteenth-century window divided into five lights at the east gable which would have caused the choir to have been brightly lit in comparison with the rest of the church. Much of the stonework is pre Romanesque but there is an imposing Romanesque arched doorway remaining.

Founded under the Anglo Norman patronage of The Fitzmaurices overlords of Kerry, the Friary had for a time enjoyed security and status. It became the burial place of the lord’s family. It became the object of attack from Irish lords who fought battles with their feudal overlord. The tower at one time housed many soldiers.

During the Desmond Rebellion the Friars were evicted (1584) and the Friary was occupied by the English Army. After their victory over Desmond the Friary was taken over by the Protestant Bishop of Ardfert as was the Cathedral.

The friary stands as a picturesque ruin in the meadows they once owned which eventually were gifted as demesne lands of the titled english Crosbie’s of Ardfert House.

If while looking at the Friary at its western end you cast your eyes to the right you will see stone building adjacent to modern houses. This was once a stable where Earl Glandore’s servants dispensed soup to the starving locals during the Great Famine of 1846 -52. Ironically this is all that remained of the Crosbie grand mansion when it was burned down by the IRA in August 1922.

The entrance is about 2Km outside Ardfert. A car park is at the roadside and there is a right of way macadam roadway to the Friary. Do visit and observe and obsorb one of the many milestones in Irelands troubled history.

1  Thank SirNorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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