Ross Errilly Friary
Standing in serene solitude on the South bank of the Black
River, just two miles West from the town of Headford in County
Galway the Franciscan Friary of Ross is recognised by many
historians both past and present as the best preserved
monastic ruin of its period in Ireland. It was founded in
1349 by the then Archbishop of Tuam Dr. Malachy MacHugh, who
was a native of the Headford area and, as it happens, a
member of the Franciscan order.
Killursa is about 1.5 miles west of Headford on the Greenfields road. It is a ruined church set in an extensive
graveyard. The ruin measures 70feet by 24feet, and it has a
gothic pointed doorway, and a large mullioned gothic window,
which indicates that the present structure was erected after
the Norman invasion, 1169. A wall was built across this
church, probably cutting off a section for the officiating
clergyman, who had his habitat there. Killursa means the
church of St. Fursa whose statue one sees as one enters the
graveyard. It was here St. Fursa had the famous visions of
the unseen world which grave authors assert inspired Dante
to write his "Comedia Divina".
Knockma the great 'Hill of Maeve' is situated 5 miles west
of Tuam. Maeve the legendary Queen of Connacht is reputed to
be buried in the Cairns on the summit of the hill from which
one of the greatest panoramic views in Ireland may be
obtained. Tradition also points to Knockma as the home of
fairy legend. For here Finvarra, King of Connacht fairies,
is reputed to have held his court. This partially wooded
hill contains examples of the famous Burren flora, the
Spring Gentian and the Purple Helleborine to name but two
species. The limestone flags on its summit and sides contain
all of our rarest plants that are otherwise only found in
the Burren! A fine path to the summit of this hill has been
created through a FÁS project.
Shrule Castle, on the Black river at the Mayo border, was part of a manor
granted by Richard deBurgo to his son John in 1308.
Moyne castle was a 16th century castle built on the Black river on the
Mayo border, to which a much later mansion was added. Both are now ruined.