Adare - Ancient City in Limerick

Adare is a perfect "first town" to visit when arriving in Ireland not only because of its proximity not only to Shannon Airport, but to many sites of interest in Muenster and Leinster.

Adare is an estate village developed by the Earl of Dunraven in the mid-19th century. Its anchor was Adare Manor (home of the earl) which still stands - now a luxury hotel surrounded by a golf course with miles of walking trails. The town is well known for its thatched-roofed cottages, upscale dining and public park.

I went to mass at Holy Trinity Abbey, a former Trinitarian monastery (the only Trinitarian monastery in Ireland). The Trinitarians served here in the early 13th century. Their mission was to raise money for ransoms to free hostages captured by the Moors during the Crusades. The Abbey has a stain glass window depicting a monk with a purse, trading the purse for the chains of a prisoner.

On the grounds of Adare Manor - in the middle of the golf course are the ruins of a Franciscan Friary, founded for the Franciscans in 1464 by the Thomas, the Earl of Kildare. This magnificent ruin still has the remains of a cloister walk which traces a path around a giant yew tree.

I ate an exquisite meal at The Blue Door Restaurant on the Main Street, housed in one of the thatched cottages. I stayed two nights just outside of town at Elm House, a Bed and Breakfast run by Mrs Pauline Heddeman.

Thin Place?
Adare is a homey place - a hospitable place. The ruins of the Franciscan Friary I found to be thin. Tracing the steps of medieval friars around the cloister walk and up the stone spiral stairway was moving. There is a dry holy water font, relatively unchanged over the past five hundred years.

The Friary is is thin place.

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