The Ennis Friary is a magnificent ruined Franciscan abbey in the centre of Ennis town in County Tipperary. Considered a cultural landmark of the 14th century, the abbey is a landmark and one of the most majestic and impressive ruins in the area!
Ennis Friary was built by the O’Brien family who once ruled much of northern Munster. After having been used as a place of religious worship, the ababye was later transformed into a court of justice in the 17th century, before being abandoned.
The abbey has a standard Latin cross structure and is notably endowed with 15th and 16th century sculptures, all made from local limestone blocks. Although in ruins, the abbey is still magnificent, and still has its main tower and surrounding walls. The place is exceptional, and really worth the detour!
Among the things to see, don’t miss the sculpture of Saint Francis, installed in the nave. Endowed with stigmata, the stone figure has been finely carved, and wears the Franciscan habit as well as a wooden cross. The rendering is of extreme finesse!
Also don’t miss under the south arch of the tower, a complex interlacing dating from the end of the 15th century. Some researchers agree that this engraving once adorned a tomb on the building.
Finally, the highlight of the show: the sacristy, which imposes itself with its barrel vaulted ceiling and its impressive ribbed structure.
Caution however: the place is fragile! Also, avoid any direct contact with my Ennis Friary walls!