Muckross Abbey, in the middle of Killarney’s picturesque National Park, should be near the top of your must-see list when visiting the south west of Ireland. Here are 11 photos to show you why…
A bit of background about Muckross Abbey
The Abbey is a Franciscan friary founded around 1445 for the Observantine Franciscans. It has a colourful history and has been damaged and rebuilt a few times. The grounds were the burial site for local chieftains and in the 17th and 18th centuries, three Kerry poets; O’Donoghue, Ó Rathaille and Ó Súilleabháin were also buried there. The grounds are still used for burials today.
The ruins are amazingly well preserved, with the cloister walkways almost fully intact, and easily explorable. You can wander around inside and even go up to the first level via a couple of different staircases. In the middle is an ancient Yew Tree. It is thought that the tree was either planted by the Franciscans when building the Abbey or that the Abbey was built around the tree. Either way, it’s a very old tree!
To get a feel for the layout make sure you check out the map by the courtyard before exploring.
Muckross Abbey in pictures