This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Clare Abbey founded in 1195. it is situated on an elevated site beside the Fergus River and was the first, largest and most important Augustinian house in County Clare. It was founded under the sponsorship of Domnall Mór O Brian, the King of Thomond and despite a turbulent history remained in use right up until the 17th century.  After the suppression of the monasteries in 1543 the parish lands, now the civil parish of Clareabbey, were given to the Barons of Ibrackan by King Henry VIII of England. In 1620 it became the property of the Earl of Thomond. Some parts of the single-aisled church date back to the 12th century, and the tower, the beautiful east window and the domestic buildings were probably constructed around 1460. Keep your eyes pealed as there are a number interesting sculptural features for the observant visitor. (R)