Ross Errily Friary, County Galway

4.8
#18 of 62 in Historic Sites in County Galway
Must see · Religious Site · Tourist Spot
The Ross Errilly Friary (Irish: Mainistir Ros Oirialaigh, often anglicised in 18th & 19th century sources as Rosserelly) is a medieval Franciscan friary located about a mile to the northwest of Headford, County Galway, Ireland. It is a National Monument of Ireland and among the best-preserved medieval monastic sites in the country. Though usually referred to by locals as "Ross Abbey," this is not technically correct as the community never had an abbot.
The church and bell tower are to the south of a small but well preserved central cloister and domestic buildings are to the north. Amongst these are a kitchen (equipped with an oven and a water tank for live fish), a bake house, and a refectory or dining area. The dormitories are on the upper levels. One unusual feature is a second courtyard or cloister, built to accommodate the friary's growing population.

Like many other abandoned Christian sites in Ireland, Ross Errilly has continued to be used as a burial ground by area residents. In addition to tombs that date from the friary's active period, many graves dating from the 18th through 20th centuries can be found inside the church walls. In some cases, tombstones comprise the floors of walkways and crawlspaces.
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Ross Errily Friary reviews

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TripAdvisor
  • Well worth the stop. I had reasonably high expectations of this stop and it blew me away. Incredibly well preserved spot where you can really visualize ancient monastic life.  more »
  • A Franciscan Friary, it was at the end of a ten kilometre tiny track with grass growing in the middle of the road and one car wide. But it was great set of ruins, very atomspheric and huge. The...  more »
Google
  • One of the best ruins I have visited in Ireland! So much to explore and see. You can literally spend hours here finding the best shots as a photographer. Do bring a (extra) wide lens though, you'll find good use for it for the interior 📷 You can walk around freely on the inside and outside and there's free parking space for about 10 cars in front of the building. We were there in September 2019 and we had the place for ourselves the whole time!
  • We tripped over Ross Errily as we were driving by - and decided to pop in. Gorgeous Friary - steeped in history and so well preserved. We were the only people there when we arrived and explored to our hearts content. There is such a sense of peace and tranquility.
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