Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social
1850 - 1855
Detached five-bay two-storey monastery, built 1852-4, on a U-shaped plan with single-bay (five-bay deep) single-storey gabled advanced end bays centred on single-bay three-stage tower (north) on a square plan. Occupied, 1901; 1911. Closed, 1978. Now disused. Pitched slate roofs on collared timber construction with clay ridge tiles, coping to gables on "Cyma Recta" or "Cyma Reversa" kneelers with rendered, ruled and lined chimney stacks to apexes having capping supporting yellow terracotta pots, coping to gables (end bays) on "Cyma Recta" or "Cyma Reversa" kneelers with cut-limestone Cross finials to apexes, and cast-iron rainwater goods on timber eaves boards on rendered cut-limestone eaves retaining cast-iron octagonal or ogee hoppers and downpipes. Rendered or fine roughcast walls on rendered chamfered plinth with rusticated quoins to corners; rendered or fine roughcast surface finish (tower) with rendered battlemented parapets centred on cut-limestone Celtic Cross finial. Round-headed central door opening with no fittings surviving. Square-headed window openings with drag edged dragged cut-limestone sills, and concealed dressings framing remains of one-over-one timber sash windows having part exposed sash boxes. Round-headed window openings (end bays) with drag edged dragged cut-limestone sills, and concealed dressings framing fourteen-over-fourteen timber sash windows having fanlights. Square-headed window opening (tower) with drag edged dragged cut-limestone sill, and concealed dressings framing one-over-one timber sash window having part exposed sash box. Pointed-arch openings (bell stage) with cut-limestone sill course, and concealed dressings framing louvered fittings. Interior in ruins including (ground floor): central hall retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings. Set in unkempt grounds with rendered piers to perimeter having gabled capping supporting flat iron double gates.
A monastery representing an important component of the mid nineteenth-century ecclesiastical heritage of Contae Mhaigh Eo [County Mayo] with the architectural value of the composition, one allegedly erected on a site donated by George Henry Moore MP (1810-70) of Moore Hall (see 31310009) to counter the prosyletisation of Acaill [Achill Island] by the Reverend Edward Nangle (1799-1883) of the so-called "Colony", confirmed by such attributes as the symmetrical footprint centred on a restrained doorcase, albeit one largely concealed by a later porch; the slight diminishing in scale of the openings on each floor producing a graduated tiered visual effect; and the crow stepped battlements embellishing the slender tower as a picturesque eye-catcher in the landscape. A prolonged period of neglect notwithstanding, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with quantities of the original fabric, both to the exterior and to the interior where some encaustic tile work; fragmentary joinery; and sleek plasterwork refinements, all highlight the now-modest artistic potential of the composition. Furthermore, adjacent outbuildings (extant 1915); a burial ground (extant 1896); and the shell of a national school (1915; closed 1969), all continue to contribute positively to the group and setting values of a self-contained ensemble making a pleasing, if increasingly obscure visual statement in a rural street scene.