Sunday, 8 December 2019

Clarisford Palace

THE diocese of Killaloe was founded early in the 6th century.

In the 12th century it was incorporated with the ancient bishopric of Roscrea founded in 620.

In 1752, the See of Kilfenora, which had been established about the 12th century, was united to it; and although very small in extent and value, had continued separate until the Restoration, when it was first annexed to the archbishopric of Tuam.

That union continued 81 years, till 1741, when Ardagh being annexed to Tuam, this bishopric was given in commendam to the Lord Bishop of Clonfert.

THE diocese of Killaloe stretches about 100 miles in length, through the counties of Clare and Tipperary, into the King's County, and includes also a small part of the Queen's County, Galway, and Limerick.

It varies in breadth from 9 to 32 miles.

Kilfenora is confined to the baronies of Burren and Corcomroe, and extends only 23 miles by 11.

THE PALACE, Killaloe, County Clare, is a late 18th century block comprising three storeys over a basement.

The demesne is beside the River Shannon outside the town.

It was built between 1774-78 by the Right Rev Robert Fowler, Lord Bishop of Killaloe and Kilfenora, 1771-79.

The palace has a five-bay front and a triple window above the porch; a Doric doorcase with pedimented porch on two columns.

There are steps with iron railings leading up to the hall door.

The side elevation comprises three bays.

The demesne includes a walled garden, outbuildings, and an entrance lodge.

It remained in use as an episcopal palace until 1977.

The last Bishop to reside at Clarisford was the Right Rev Edwin Owen, Lord Bishop of Killaloe and Clonfert, 1972-76.

Thereafter the see was united with the diocese of Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe.

Clarisford Park is now privately owned.

First published in October, 2015.

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