Roscommon Castle and Friary

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  • #707854


    Roscommon Castle and Friary


    The Castle: this Norman castle was built by Robert de Ufford, Lord Justice of Ireland, in 1269. But it passed into Irish hands seven years later when it was taken by Hugh O’Conor, King of Connacht. It was restored in 1280. The O’Kellys gained possession of the castle in 1308 when Donogh O’Kelly slaughtered many of the inhabitants. But the O’Conors took it again in 1341. Taken by the Earl of Kildare on an expedition to Connacht in 1499, it was granted to Mac William Bourke in 1544, and taken once again in 1569, this time by Sir Henry Sidney. Sir Nicholas Malby, Governor of Connacht, probably took it over in 1578. The castle surrendered to the Confederates under Preston in 1645, but they in turn had to surrender it to the Cromwellians under Reynolds in 1652. The castle is quadrangular in shape with rounded bastions at the corner, and a double-towered entrance gate, as well as a rectangular gate tower in the west wall. After 1578 Sir Nicholas Malby carried out extensive alterations and inserted a number of mullioned windows as well as adding a number of buildings on the north side of the castle. Dominican Friary: The Friary was founded for the Dominicans by Felim O’Conor, Lord of Roscommon, in 1253 and was consecrated in 1257. The church originally consisted of one long aisle. The original lancet windows in the east and west walls were replaced in the 15th century by traceried windows which have largely disappeared, but those in the south wall are still preserved. The north transept was added in the 15th century. The most remarkable feature of the Friary is the effigy of Felim O’Conor in a niche in the north wall near where the altar stood. The effigy, carved between 1290 and 1300, has been placed upon a later 15th century tomb with 8 mail-clad warriors (7 with swords, and one with a battle axe) in niches with angels above them. On the opposite wall are traces of another 15th century tomb.

  • #755908


    Great to see something from outside of Dublin and Cork on the forum, but it doesn’t show that there is any actual architecture in Roscommon worth looking at.

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