Explore Ballintubber Abbey: Guided Tours, Videos, Photography Exhibition and Giftshop
Its history is best summed up in the appellation “The Abbey that refused to die”.
Welcome to Ballintubber Abbey, where history, faith, and community intertwine to create a truly unique experience. The origins of this remarkable place can be traced back to 441 AD when St. Patrick baptized the local people at the Druidic Well and established a church on these grounds. Today, you can still find remnants of that early church in the peaceful graveyard that surrounds the Abbey.
With over 800 years of history, Ballintubber Abbey continues to be a place of daily worship and holds a captivating narrative of human endeavor, architectural excellence, unwavering perseverance, and profound spirituality. After undergoing tasteful restoration, it serves a dual purpose as a cherished national monument and a vibrant rural parish church. Moreover, it has re-emerged as a Christian center for prayer and retreats, welcoming people from all walks of life.
The Abbey’s story is one of resilience. In 1265, it suffered partial destruction by fire but was diligently rebuilt by 1270, leading to a period of prosperity during which it amassed local land holdings and forged connections with regional kings and chieftains. For three centuries, it enjoyed peace until 1603 when its lands were confiscated. In 1635, the Augustinian Friars took over the Abbey, only to see it come under attack and burn again during Cromwell’s era in 1653.
Remarkably, even amidst the turmoil and destruction of Cromwellian times, the Abbey’s sacred mission endured. Mass continued to be celebrated here for eight centuries. Its unbroken record of faith and service is a testament to the indomitable spirit of this place—a sanctuary that has withstood two fires, suppression, the harsh grip of Penal Laws, and the devastating impacts of famine.
The year 2016 marked a significant milestone in Ballintubber Abbey’s history as it celebrated its 800th anniversary, a testament to its enduring presence and the deep roots it has in the community.
For those who visit or embark on a pilgrimage to Ballintubber Abbey, there is much to explore and savor, from its rich history to the tranquil surroundings. Our gift shop complements your visit, offering a diverse range of items, including religious memorabilia and locally crafted products such as books, toys, handmade crafts, skincare, and a delightful assortment of mayo-based goods from talented local artisans, authors, and photographers. Be sure to take advantage of the guided tours, watch our informative video, or explore our captivating exhibition of photographs.
At its core, Ballintubber Abbey remains a vibrant and active local church, deeply connected to the surrounding community. It’s a place where history, spirituality, and a warm welcome converge to create an unforgettable experience for all who enter its hallowed doors.