The ruins of this once stately complex can be found on a scenic parcel of land located at the mouth of the Eske River, where it pours into Donegal Bay. Built in 1474 by Hugh O’Donnell, the abbey withstood ransacking, burning and ravaging before it was finally abandoned in the early part of the 17th century.
The only recognizable parts of the ruins today are the south transept, choir, and parts of the cloisters. The adjoining graveyard is filled, providing evidence that people were buried here well into the 18th century.
This abbey near Donegal town is perhaps most well known as the place where the Four Masters gathered to plan and write the Irish Annals. Fearful of the demise of the Celtic culture in Ireland at the hands of the English, these four monks wrote to preserve the history and traditional mythology of Ireland, from its very beginnings up until 1618. They worked on this project here from 1632 to 1636.
Although the original works of the monks are kept locked away safely, people can examine the copies on display at the National Library in Dublin.