Corcomroe Abbey

Back in 2002 I went on a business trip to Longford, Ireland where I had some staff.  The first time I went there, I went with a couple of other people from work, but in 2002, I was able to take my wife along (I had so many frequent flyer miles back then, earning a free round trip about once every 30-45 days!).  After I finished my work in Longford, we took about a week to travel around Ireland and see the country and some historical places.

One of the places we saw was Corcomroe Abbey.  Construction on the abbey most likely began sometime between 1205 and 1210 and used locally hewn limestone.  Legend says the building was commissioned by King Conor na Suidane Ua Briain, who died in 1267 and whose tomb niche and effigy are visible in the north wall of the choir loft at the Abbey.  According to the legend, Ua Briain executed the five masons who completed the abbey to prevent them from constructing a rival masterpiece elsewhere.  That’s what the legend says, but in reality, it was probably built by Conor’s grandfather, Donal Mor Ua Briain (Donald O’Brien), the patron of a number of other religious structures in the historic region.

The abbey functioned for about 400 years, with its final known use taking place around 1628, as the last Abbot was named in 1628, being Revd. John O’Dea, a Cistercian from the Irish College at Salamanca.

The day we were there is was overcast, drizzly and cool.  Well, I guess that’s no surprise…it is Ireland, after all!!!  This was shot using an old Nikon 3 or 4 MP digital point-and-shoot type of camera that I had at the time, looking through one of the archways towards a portion of the small, ancient cemetery.

A view through an arch at Corcomroe Abbey, Ireland

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1718, the English pirate Edward Teach (better known as Blackbeard) was captured off the Outer Banks of North Carolina (off Okracoke) and was taken back to England in chains where he was tried and executed.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: a group of bees can be called a hive, a swarm, or a grist.


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