Saints and Stones: Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber's history goes back to pre-Christian times when people came from the east on their way to the holy mountain on the west coast - now called Croagh Patrick. When St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, he founded a church at Ballintubber, it is said, in 441 A.D. after his return from a forty day fast on the summit of Croagh Patrick.

Ballintubber takes its name from St. Patrick-Baile tobair Phadraig - the townland of St Patrick's well.

The Abbey that we see today is on this site. The Abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded for the Augustinian Canons in 1216 by Cathal Crobdearg O'Connor, King of Connacht. It is the only church in Ireland still in daily use that was founded by an Irish king. In and around the present day Abbey precincts are many architectural and landscape references to St Patrick. The bath house, where weary pilgrims would have washed their feet on having completed the long journey from the holy mountain, is called Dabhach an Chora, the bath of the righteous. Close by is the well where Patrick baptised his converts in the district, with a stone alongside bearing the supposed imprint of the saint's knee.

The abbey today consists mainly of a restored church and unrestored ruins next to it. From Ballintubber Abbey stretching out to Croagh Patrick is Tochar Phadraig, the ancient pilgrim path still in use today.

. About Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey
Irish Antiquities: Ballintubber Augustinian Abbey
Travels in Time: Ballintubber Abbey
Wikipedia: Ballintubber Abbey
Wikipedia: Patrick's Causeway (Tochar Phadraig)

Journey to Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey is located south of Castlebar in County Mayo off the R84.

Map Reference: M154794

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found on the website. General tourism information may be found at the Mayo on the Move website.

Photos of Ballintubber Abbey

Plan of Ballintubber Abbey
Ballintubber Abbey Church Today and Partially-Restored Cloister
Ruins of Ballintuber Abbey with Current Abbey Church in Background
Ruins of Ballintubber Abbey
Cross in Stone on Pathway Ballintubber Abbey
Statue of St. Patrick at Beginning of Pilgrimage Route at Ballintubber Abbey
Pilgrimage Saying from Book of Lismore at Ballintubber Abbey
Tochar Phadraig Pilgrimage Sign at Ballintubber Abbey
Directional Sign for Tochar Phadraig Pilgrimage Start at Ballintubber Abbey
Sign for Dancora at the Pilgrim's Hostel at Ballintubber Abbey
Ruins of the Dancora at the Pilgrim's Hostel at Ballintubber Abbey
Ruins of the Pilgrim's Hostel at Ballintubber Abbey

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