The Abbey Tavern is situated in the heart of County Clare, 6 miles east of Ennis town, approx 10 miles from Shannon Airport and approx 12 miles from Bunratty Castle. Located opposite the picturesque Quin Abbey ruins circa 1350, the Abbey Tavern Bar, Bistro restaurant and guest rooms overlook the Abbey grounds and set on the backdrop of the Broadford hills.

The Abbey Tavern is centrally located in respect to a number of tourist attractions, which makes it an ideal base for a short break in the Clare area. Situated only a short drive(<15 mins)to any of the below attractions, plus many more if you are prepared to spend up to an hour in the car.

Places near The Abbey Tavern Bar, Bistro and Guest Accomodation

 

Quin Abbey

  Found just five miles outside Ennis, it was built in the 15th Century in the tradition of Irish Franciscan Monasteries. Fathers Purcell and Mooney, both ordained under the order of St. Francis, had dreamed of building monasteries for Irish Franciscans, and the location where Quin was finally built seemed perfect for this purpose (Meehan 1877: 2). This was an ideal location because it was right next to a river and was on the main route from Limerick to Galway, providing access for transportation and trade.

Quin Abbey was erected at the beginning of this Franciscan monastery-building period, between the years 1402 and 1433. The original monastery of Quin was founded very early, but this burned down in 1278. After this, Thomas DeClare, a Norman commander, built a castle fortress on these ruins because he realized that a fortress was essential in this strategic location. This location was important to him for the same reason that it was perfect for Fathers Purcell and Mooney, thus making it a vital point in his desire for westward expansion. This castle-fortress was built with enormous round towers, the ruins of which can still be seen, but yet another church, founded by the MacNamara clan, had been built on the castle ruins by 1350. They used the south curtain-wall of DeClare’s castle to build the church from east to west. To the north of the church lay a sacristy and a residence for the clergy.

 

Craggaunowen – the Living Past Experience

Craggaunowen – the Living Past Experience is Ireland’s original, award-winning Prehistoric Park. Situated on 50 acres of wooded grounds, the Park interprets Ireland’s pre-historic and early Christian eras. It features a stunning recreation of some of the homesteads, animals and artefacts which existed in Ireland over 1,000 years ago.

These include:

  • A Crannog(pictured above) – an artificially constructed lake island dwelling, home of Bronze Age Chieftains.
  • *A Ringfort – the typical residence of Celtic farmers in the Iron Age *A Dolmen – one of the earliest Stone Age tomb types
  • *Fulacht Fia – the field kitchen of the Fianna, the legendary soldiers of the High Kings of Ireland.
  • *A Togher – portion of an Iron Age roadway dating back to 148BC. *The ‘Brendan’– the leather-hulled vessel built by Tim Severin and sailed by him and his crew across the Atlantic in the mid-1970s to prove that it was possible for early-Christian monks from Ireland to have reached America in the 7th Century.
  • *Rare animal breeds, including Wild Boar – which are actual species of the prehistoric era.

Overlooking all is 'Craggaunowen Castle', built by John MacSioda MacNamara around 1550. A window on the past One of the highlights of a visit to Craggaunowen is the opportunity to explore recreations of two homesteads from the pre-historic and early Christian eras. Crannogs were artificial islands on which people built houses, kept animals and lived in relative security. Step inside the thatched houses on the crannog, built of wattles and mud, and you are transported back to an ancient time.

The second dwelling is a Ring Fort, which served more as a farmstead rather than a fortification. The Ringfort features a man-made cave or underground passage which was used for storage and as a refuge in times of danger.

Location:Near Quin, Co. Clare, off the R462 from Cratloe and the R469 from Ennis. Telephone:+353 (0)61 36 1511 Fax:+353 (0)61 47 2523 Email: Website: www.shannonheritage.com

 

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle was built in 1425. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was an important stronghold of the O'Briens, kings and later earls, of Thomond or North Munster. It is furnished with mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings in the style of the period of the Great Earl. Medieval banquets are held in the Castle all year round.

Within its grounds is Bunratty Folk Park, this is a stunning recreation of 19th century Irish life, with farmhouses, two watermills, church, blacksmiths forge and village street which includes pubs, school house, and shops. This too is open all year round.

Ailwee Caves

Although one of the oldest in Ireland, Aillwee Cave is still a fairly recent discovery. Located near Ballyvaughan, Aillwee Cave is still one of the few caves which has the features of Clare underground - great caverns, stalactites, subterranean rivers - and which is easily accessible to the general public.

Aillwee Cave was originally an underground river fed by the melting snows of the ice age. The river dried up as the ice retreated leaving the cave as it is to be seen today. Cave bears then moved in and used the cave to hibernate. The building which leads in to the cave blends in to the surrounding area and was winner of the EC Europa Nostra prize.

The entrance contains tourist information, craft shop and tea room. One can also climb the mountain behind the cave to find the rare Alpine flowers which are plentiful.

Source: Clarelibrary.ie www.clarelibrary.ie

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher stretch for 8km & rise up to 214 metres above the Atlantic Ocean. For information on the new interpretive centre ATLANTIC EDGE visit http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/

Fishing

Fresh Water Quin is located centrally to county Clare’s main fresh water lake fishing area. East Clare is well know for its fishing lakes. http://www.shannon-fishery-board.ie/guides/coarse/localmap-eastclare.htm

Horse Riding

Quin is traditionally known as a highly equestrian village with many horse farms, studs and riding schools in the area, as well as some famous trainers and jockeys. The two closest horse riding schools in the area are Ballyhannon House, which is located approx 1.5 miles from Quin village, and Castlefergus ridign school which is about 3 miles from Quin village.

Both cater for the novide to the advanced rider and both come highly reccomended. The Clare Equestrian centre is located about 4 miles away which also comes highly reccomended .

Golf

There are many Golf Courses within easy access to Quin. You have a wide range of courses to choose from, be it Lynx or woodland, these courses are of the top in the west of Ireland.

Golf Course Distance from Quin

  • Shannon 15 mins
  • Dromoland 10 mins
  • Ennis 15 mins
  • East Clare 25 mins
  • Lahinch (Lynx) 50 mins
  • Doonbeg (Lynx) 50 mins

Tee times can be arranged through the Abbey Tavern. If you are interested in visiting any of the local attractions, our friendly staff will happily help you book them as well as advise you on other activities which may interest you in the locality.