Things to See and Do
Dancora means “the Bath of the Righteous”. Here pilgirms washed themselves, ritually expressing a cleansing from their sin (having undertaken the Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick) as they were about to return to their homes with a “change of heart”.
Wooden Church-replica of Patrician churches (5th Century)
These “Dairteachs” or wooden churches served as places of reflection on the Word of God or on nature, in the early Irish Church. Baptism and the Eucharist were more often celebrated in the open air, around wells and in groves in the tradition of our pre-Christian ancestors.
The Underground Crib
This Crib, which is open all year round, conveys a powerful message “Were Christ to be born in a thousand stables it would be of no avail were He not born in our hearts” – Mister Eckhart.
Stations of the Cross
Stations in The Abbey (by Imogen Stuart) The “stations” have been especially commissioned for Ballintubber Abbey, Ireland. The artist, Imogen Stuart, has captured in these stations the spiritual heritage reflected in XIII century Celtic Crosses. The simplicity of compositions and delicacy of colours render both the sorrow and serenity of the characters on their way...
Well of St Patrick
Here at the pagan well of Creevagh, Patrick baptised the people in year 441AD Ballintubber takes its name from it Baile Tobair Phádraig or the Townland of Patrick’s Well. Beside the well there is a stone on which the supposed imprint of the Saint’s knee is on it.
Sean na Sagart Tree (Priest Hunter)
The notorious Priest Hunter was buried facing the north where the sun never rises. This was in contrast to the other graves in the graveyard that face the east and the rising sun, a symbol of our resurrection. This ash tree marks his grave. His story reflects the turbulent times of the Penal Laws.
Tomb of Tiobóid na Long – son of Grace O’Malley
This tomb is situated in the Mortuary Chapel of the De Burgos, which is now the sacristy of the Abbey. This historic monument bears the images of the apostles, five of whom were hacked away by invading forces. Many of the Viscount Bourkes were buried in the vaults here.
Elizabeth’s house is modelled on our rural cottages of the past and the people who lived there. These people were poor in material things but were rich in faith and hospitality. Stories and folktales give Mary’s visit to Elizabeth a local setting and understanding.
Chapel of Adoration
The spiritual powerhouse in Ballintubber Abbey is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, where there is Eucharistic Adoration daily, from 9.30 a.m. to midnight. Families and individuals, mainly from the Ballintubber area, ensure that there is a continual presence before the Blessed Sacrament, each one having their hour each week to ‘look after’. The Eucharistic Adoration has...
Why not have a guided tour, watch the video or see our exhibition of photographs.
Its history is best summed up in the appellation “The Abbey that refused to die”. The story of Ballintubber Abbey began when, in 441, St Patrick baptised the people at the Druidic Well and established a church here. There are still remains of that early church in the graveyard. This Abbey which is over...