The Kilmallock Abbey is a Dominican priory in ruins. Situated south of the city of Limerick, the site is beautiful and has a grave and astonishing charm. Founded in the 6th or 7th century by Saint Mocheallóg, it was devastated by a terrible fire in 1571, at the height of the Rebellions of the Counts of Desmond, then partially destroyed in 1648 following the assaults of the Lord Inchiquin. Its ruins remain today, and attract the crowds!
Despite the trials of history and time, the Kilmallock Abbey has stood the test of time, and many architectural elements are still intact. Admission is free, and you will be able to admire its Latin cross structure, its main bell tower, and its magnificent pediments pierced with windows.
Nowadays, the church still has some parts intact, and has a pretty south transept, pierced by an imposing window added in the 15th century, and which was once to be decorated with multicoloured stained glass windows. The site also includes a square main tower, built in 1320, which offers a breathtaking view of the Irish countryside, and which was once used by the Dominicans to store valuable relics, as well as numerous manuscripts and illuminated works.
The site offers an exceptional spectacle of architecture: fine are the openwork sculptures on the main walls, and numerous are the buds and representations of religious scenes that have been engraved in stone. You can also admire three magnificent chalices, made especially for the Kilmallock Abbey. Made of gold, or adorned with jewellery, these were once the most precious possessions of the building!
Don’t miss its arches and arched windows: the architectural quality of the building makes Kilmallock Abbey one of the most beautiful abbeys in County Limerick! The place is beautiful, quiet, and some places are safe enough to get close to the ruins. Be careful though: the site is getting old, and visits can cause it to deteriorate. Please be careful when you visit!
Don’t miss its typical small cemetery, with its graves and Celtic crosses scattered all over the place. Note that the cemetery is home to the grave of a famous Irish writer of the 18th century: Andrias Mac Craith (Súgach Mangaire in Gaelic).