Clontuskert Priory, County Galway

Ten years of indulgences, as I hand over my weighted purse, my transgressions lifted into stone. And the grand east window watches on and smiles, that through our sin, her glory shines.
— Claire Loader

If sass was ever to be used to describe an abbey, then Clontuskert simply abounds.  Filled to the brim with beautiful carvings and surprises, there are few that can top her many treasures.  Burnt down in the early 15th Century, the abbey was rebuilt upon the granting of indulgences – 10 years for all those who would help fund her repair.  It’s hard to not imagine then, gazing through the intricate west doorway towards the grand east window, just what sins were washed away to bring to life such beauty.

Copyright © 2017 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Kilconnell Friary, County Galway

In life you were my light,
in death you are my flame,
that burns the corners bright,
until we meet again.
— Claire Loader

Storm clouds were building the first time I took the arching path up to Kilconnell Friary, and ever since it has held a certain magic – the clouds roiling in my memory as her carvings found a place in my soul.  One tomb in particular, a work of stunning tracery just inside the West door, the lines like fire curling up the walls, is easily the most beautiful thing I have laid eyes on in Ireland.

Copyright © 2017 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.