This abbey is a real survivor—one of only a few Irish churches in continuous use for almost 800 years. Founded in 1216 by Cathal O’Connor, king of Connaught, it has endured fires, numerous attacks, pestilences, and anti-Catholic pogroms. Although Oliver Cromwell’s forces thoroughly dismantled the abbey—they even carried off its roof in 1653 in an effort to finally suppress it—clerics continued discreetly conducting religious rites. Today it’s an impressively restored church, with 13th-century windows on the right side of the nave and a doorway dating to the 15th century. Guided tours are available weekdays (and on weekends by prior arrangement) from 9:30am to 5pm; there’s no charge, but donations of €4 per person are requested. The Celtic Furrow visitor center illuminates the abbey’s troubled and fascinating history, as part of a wider examination of spiritual life in Ireland dating back 5,000 years.
County Mayo› Attraction
Off the Galway-Castlebar Rd. (N84), about 21.5km (13 1/2 miles) east of Westport, Ballintubber, Co. Mayo
Our Rating Hours Abbey: Daily 9am–midnight. Celtic Furrow: July–Aug daily 10am–5pm. Phone 094/903-0934 Prices Free admission; donations requested Web site Ballintubber Abbey
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.