Clare Island is a charming island of 16 sq km at the mouth of Clew Bay. The quartzite hills on the north-west rise to 461m in the peak of Knockmore, with some flat land of the east and south. Its early archaeological remains include a court-tomb at Lecarrow, ancient cooking-sites, standing-stones, promontory forts and other sites from later times.
One of the most interesting places is the remains of the late fifteenth century Cistercian friary, which was originally founded by monks from Abbeyknockmoy, Co. Galway.
The remains are those of a nave and chancel church, with a dwelling tower over the latter, and a two-storey northern annexe. The chancel vault was once covered with frescos; substantial patches still remain in a faded condition and repay careful scrutiny.
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