The Serene Corcomroe Abbey

By Andreas F. Borchert, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Corcomroe Abbey is a remarkable medieval Cistercian abbey located to the north of the town of Ballymun in County Clare, Ireland. It was built by the Irish abbot, St. Colmcille, in the twelfth century.

This abbey is one of Ireland’s most important monasteries, and today it is recognized as a cultural landmark. In addition to being a residence for the abbot and his monks, it has been said to be the location where Thomas Becket hid before his crucifixion. This site is the subject of the famous St. Colmcille’s Prayer book.

The name Corcomroe itself signifies “of the Great Rock”. This is because this abbey was one of the abbeys that governed the church in the town of Ballymun, on the northern shores of Rosslare. It was established by the patron saint of Ireland, St. Columba, in the first decade of the sixth century. At the time of its foundation, it was among the finest monasteries in all of Ireland.

The abbey was built using red sandstone, which is the best stone that could be found on the island of Ireland. There are two main entrances, both leading to a cloister on the west side of the church. In addition, there is another large inner nave where the Abbot and his monks enjoyed private conversations. One of these sides of the church contains a huge stone mural, entitled, A Treatise on the Use of Sandstone in Corcomroe and the adjoining Areas, wherein is the most fitting portrait of St. Colmcille.

While you are planning your trip to Corcomroe Abbey, you will likely want to do some research about the actual history of the place. While you will find plenty to see and do, there were many people who lived and died in this area.

If you want to learn more about the town and the history of the place, you might want to make a day or two out of it, exploring what the town offers to those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.