|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
||The Augustinian Abbey at Cong was founded in the
early 12th century by Turlough OConnor (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
1850s by the direction of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness
, former owner of Ashford Castle.
The Abbey served many purposes including a hiding place for
the OConnor family , a hospital for the sick, shelter
for the poor and starving as well as being a place of learning
for thousands of scholars.