Killone Abbey (Irish: Mainistir Chill Eoin[1]), situated in Killone, some 5 kilometres south of Ennis, County Clare, was a nunnery and abbey of Canonesses Regular founded in 1190 by Donal Mor O'Brien (Donal ‘the Great’ O’Brien), King of Thomond and Munster and dedicated to Saint John. It lies on the banks of Killone Lake.

Killone Abbey
AffiliationAugustinian Pre-Reformation Catholic
Killone Abbey is located in Ireland
Killone Abbey
Shown within Ireland
Geographic coordinates52°48′22.32″N 9°0′15.62″W / 52.8062000°N 9.0043389°W / 52.8062000; -9.0043389
Groundbreakingfounded c.1189 (or monks founded 1120)

The ruins of the abbey, accessible through land used for grazing cattle, are located in the grounds of Newhall House and Estate and include substantial remains of the abbey church together with a crypt. A narrow stone stairway leads between the altar and the east window to a ledge atop the remains of the south wall of the church, where an overview of the grounds may be seen with care.

Saint John's Holy Well


Today, there is an outside mass each year in June held by the local parish.[2]



The abbey and graveyard is privately owned,[3][4] part of Newhall Estate, owned by the Commane family,[5][6] and as protected sites under national monument legislation, guardianship is vested in the Office of Public Works.[5][4] As it is private land, access is available with the owner's permission.[6][3] Killone Abbey is linked to Clare Abbey by the Pilgrim's Path, a footpath through Ballybeg forrest.[7]


See also





  1. ^ "Cill Eoin/Killone". Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Mass at St John's Well – a very special occasion". Clarecastle Community Development. 1 May 2024. Retrieved 1 May 2024.
  3. ^ a b "National Monuments, Dáil Éireann debate". The Oireachtas. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b "Municipal District of Ennis Committee Meeting (item 6, no. 1)" (PDF). Clare. 11 May 2024. Retrieved 11 May 2024.
  5. ^ a b Oireachtas, Houses of the (16 June 2015). "National Monuments – Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 – Parliamentary Questions (31st Dáil) – Houses of the Oireachtas". Retrieved 6 May 2024.
  6. ^ a b "Newhall Estate". 23 February 2024.
  7. ^ "Mass at St John's Well – a very special occasion". Clarecastle Community Development. 1 May 2024. Retrieved 1 May 2024.


  • Glichrist, R., Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Religious Women, (London, 1994)
  • Ó Dálaigh, B., ‘Mistress, Mother and Abbess: Renalda Ní Bhriain c.1447-1510’ in North Munster Antiquarian Journal, 32, (1990) pp 50-63.
  • O’Keeffe, T.  An Anglo-Norman Monastery: Bridgetown Priory and the Architecture of the Augustinian Canons Regular in Ireland, (Cork, 1999)
  • Westropp, T.J., ‘The Augustinian Houses of the County Clare: Clare, Killone and Inchicronan’ in Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, (1900) pp 118-135.