Quin Abbey is located in the village of Quin in co.Clare. It dates from 1433 and was built on the site of an earlier monastery (which burned down in 1278) and soon after a Norman castle built by a military commander called Thomas de Clare.
The castle’s enormous foundations can still be see at the corner towers. The abbey the MacNamara Clan for Fathers Purcell and Mooney who were friars of the Franciscan order. Although mostly roofless, the structure of the abbey is relatively well preserved and an intact cloister and many other surviving architectural features can still be seen making the abbey of significant historical value.
In 1541, during the Reformation, King Henry VIII confiscated the abbey and it passed into the hands of Conor O’Brian, Earl of Thomond however the MacNamaras regained control of it in 1590 and once again set about repairing and restoring it.
In about 1640 the building became a college and is alleged to have had 800 students. Oliver Cromwell arrived only 10 years later, murdering the monks and destroying the abbey. In 1671 It was restored yet again as an abbey but never regained its former status. Eventually in 1760 the monks were expelled, although the last Friar, John Hogan, remained there until his death in 1820, by which time the buildings were ruined by neglect.