Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Clonfert Palace

THE SEE of Clonfert was founded near the end of the 6th century.

It lies chiefly in County Galway; a small part of County Roscommon belongs to it; with a single parish, on the east of the River Shannon, in County Offaly.

The greatest length of this diocese is twenty-nine miles, and the greatest breadth twenty-five miles.


CLONFERT HOUSE or Palace, near Eyrecourt, County Galway, stands close to the small medieval cathedral.

It is a long, low, narrow building of two storeys with an attic of dormer gables.

Clonfert See House was built ca 1635 and extended in the late 18th century.

The entrance front comprises eight bays.

There were Venetian windows set in arched openings; 17th century oak beams and joists; and the roof might also have dated from this time.

When the diocese of Cashel was united with those of Killaloe and Kilfenora in 1833, the palace was purchased by J E Trench.


In 1952, it was acquired by Sir Oswald Mosley Bt; though it suffered catastrophic damage by fire in 1954, since when it has remained derelict.

THE FIRST Church of Ireland prelate to reside at Clonfert House was probably the Right Rev Robert Dawson, Lord Bishop of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh from 1627-43.

A further twenty-two bishops followed, including the Right Rev Christopher Butson, in office from 1804-34, when the diocese merged with that of Killaloe and Kilfenora.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Dear Belmont, I am enjoying your series on Irish bishops' palaces very much. Keep up the good work. VC