This is the Franciscan Friary at Askeaton. It was founded by Gerald, 4th Earl of Desmond (The Poet) and built between 1389 and 1420. St Francis of Assisi (who founded the Franciscan Order) expected his friars to follow a complete vow of poverty and objected to them building houses or churches. By the time this impressive friary was built, however, the order had become powerful and wealthy. It was plundered and later abandoned by Sir John Malbie in 1579 when some of the friars were killed. It was revived in 1627 until it was later abandoned in 1648 when Cromwell’s forces neared. It was up and running again 10 years later and continued to be used by the friars to 1714. It’s design is arranged around a central cloister where the monks would walk and pray. Although the original bell tower has collapsed there are still excellent examples of carved windows, stone seats and a triple niches for tomb. Interestingly, there is a representation of St Francis (showing his stigmata) that has been kissed so much that it is almost worn away!

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