The Royal Augustinian Abbey of Cong


Founded in 623AD by St. Feichin as a monestary this site was then chosen by Turlough Mor O Connor, High King of Connacht and of Ireland, as the Royal Augustinian Abbey of Cong which was built in 1120AD for the Canons Regular of the Order of St. Augustine.

The Royal Abbey of Cong is one of the finest examples of early architecture in Ireland. Examples of the wonderful craftsmanship is still very much in evidence today with the Abbey's Gothic windows, Romanesque doors and windows, clustered pillars, arches, standing columes and floral capitals.

Three thousand cenobites resided within its walls and cloisters. The Abbotts themselves were excellant scholars in History, Poetry, Music, Sculpture and the illumination of books. they were also skilled craftsmen in metal work, engraving, inlaying and designing in bronze, gold, enamel, woodcarving and harp making. The Royal Abbey is one of Cong's most beautifully stricking treasures.

  The Augustinian Abbey at Cong was founded in the early 12th century by Turlough O’Connor (High King of Ireland), was built on the site of a 6th century church associated with St. Feichín. It features some very fine examples of stone carvings, as well as a cloister.

The Abbey , which was endowed and supported by royal families of this era, is considered to be one of the finest examples of early architecture in Ireland, and it was here that Rory O’ Connor , last high King of Ireland died and was buried in 1198 though is remains were later moved to Clonmacnoise.

The Abbey was suppressed in the reign of Henry VIII of England in 1542. It then fell into ruins but was later restored in 1850’s by the direction of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness , former owner of Ashford Castle.

The Abbey served many purposes including a hiding place for the O’Connor family , a hospital for the sick, shelter for the poor and starving as well as being a place of learning for thousands of scholars.

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