Roscommon Abbey A Visitors Guide by Kieran O'Conor & Brian Shanahan
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The Dominican priory of Roscommon was founded in 1253 by Felim O'Conor, king of Connacht. It rapidly became one of the richest and most powerful Dominican houses in medieval Ireland. Like other abbeys and friaries throughout Ireland, it was suppressed by the Crown in the second half of the 16th century and its buildings and possessions were granted to New English administrators and soldiers, most notably Sir Nicholas Malby in 17578. The latter was also granted Roscommon Castle and the nearby Augustinian priory at this time. The priory church is still standing and it is known today as Roscommon Abbey. It was clearly a magnificent building when in use. However, there is little remaining of the adjoining claustral buildings, as the masonry from this part of the site was robbed out by various people over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
This guide is divided into nine sections to help chart the history and architectural development of the priory from the mid thirteenth century onwards.