Monday, February 24, 2014

Sligo Abbey

The Abbey at dusk

At the center of the town of Sligo, Ireland, sits the Sligo Abbey.

This Abbey was founded in the mid-13th Century (1253, to be exact!) by a man named Maurice Fitzgerald. Now there's an Irish name for you!

The Abbey was a Dominican Friary back in the day.  Now, it's mostly a ruin.  It was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1414 and then rebuilt.  Later, when British soldiers sacked the town in 1642, it was again burned to the ground.  This time everything of value inside was destroyed.

A great deal of the stone structure remains, including the choir, a carved altar and the cloisters.

According to an Irish Heritage site, the Abbey contains a "great wealth of carvings".  This includes both Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculptures and stonework.

The Cloister is fairly well preserved
There is a sculptured high altar which dates from the 15th century, which is one of the few of its kind to survive.

Author Bram Stoker's mother came from Sligo.  According to legend, he used her ghost stories about the structure as part of the basis for his well-known novel, Dracula!

In 1952 they put up a plaque (see above) to commemorate the Abbey's 700 year anniversary.  It's going on 800 years soon!

Our forefathers built for the future, didn't they?  I'll venture a guess not many of the buildings from our century will still be standing in 762 years!

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