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 800 years old is still in daily use, unfolds a story of endeavour, architectural excellence, perseverance against odds and worship. Now tastefully restored, it has a dual role as a national monument and a rural parish church which has become again a Christian centre for prayer and retreats.
Partially burned in 1265 and rebuilt in 1270, the Abbey flourished and became rich and powerful, accumulating a lot of land locally. It was connected with local kings and chieftains. Peace reigned for three hundred years. In 1603 their lands were confiscated and in 1635 the Augustinian Friars took over the Abbey. In 1653 Cromwellian soldiers attacked the Abbey and burned it.
But even Cromwellian pillage didn’t put an end to worship in the Abbey and Mass continue to be said there for 800 years. What a proud record it all is: burned twice, suppressed, and wracked by the Penal Laws and the terrible ravages of the Famine, still never fully destroyed or out of use.
2016 AD was an important date in the story when it celebrated it’s Octo centaury.
For the visitor or pilgrim there is much to savour in Ballintubber Abbey and its environs, but it remains first and foremost a functioning local church involving the local community.