The museum is FREE!
It's well presented but quite wordy. Downstairs its pretty much what you would expect with artefacts and information covering geology, ancient buildings, medieval ennis, independence and so on.
Upstairs however they have created something a little different. The various artefacts are grouped around elemental themes (earth wind and fire, or something like that). Its a clever way of putting together what is basically a hot potch of discarded bric-a-brac from around the county. One man's rubbish is anothers treasure I suppose.
I especially liked the little flag that has apparantly flown on the moon. I never realised that one Apollo mission took up a flag of every country and territory of the world.- and this place has the Irish tricolour ! Others might be more interested in GAA (hurling and football) exhibits.
- Museum Visits
Whilst not especially remarkable the cathedral is a good example of solid Victorian ecclesiastical edifice erection.
It has one particukar feature that is important in combatting the stress and strain of the various bolts and arrows of irish life - a roof. OK, so it didn't make a great impression on me and I found little in the way of guidance to point out its no doubt interesting features. I did however note that during the 65 years or so it took to build the main benefactors were in fact wealthy protestant landlords. Whatever the history of denominational squabbles in Ireland, at least this act is a shining example of goodwill across the religious divide...and that to quote father Jack "would be an ecumenical matter". It only became a cathedran rather than just a church in 1990.
Ireland is not short of monuments to Daniel O'connell, including Dublin's main street. Ennis' version is quite impressive and the scene of many political rallies.
Daniel (or 'the Liberator') led the fight for Catholic emancipation during the 19th century. His 'monster' rallies attacted people in their tens of thousands. His special gift was to combine political agitation with mass movements within a non-violent framework. His legacy lives on today as evidenced by the movements headed by such people as Gandhi and Martin Luther KIng amongst others.
in Harmony row opposite the Rowan Tree hostal you will find this interesting sculpture, thanks to Paul (PFSMalo), I can now tell you that it is called Trinity and is by Diarmuld and Marcel Twohigh.It is in limestone and was completed in 1998. It represents 3 interlapping Celtic figures forming 3 arches for seating purposes.
Although the Ennis friary is in most a ruin though well renovated in parts, it was once a large complex housing over 300 Franciscan friars and 600 students. Established around 1240 on land given by the O'Brien family and much supported by them and the McNamaras during 3 centuries. Ennis grew around the Friary and became a thriving town until Henry VIII set himself up as head of the Anglican church in 1531 and passed the Act of Restraint which took away the right to exist of the Catholic church and Monasteries.
The friars held on here for a while until the church was handed over to the Protestant church of Ireland, before being finally abandoned in the 1870's.
The building is now looked after by the Irish Heritage Council and is open for visits from April to October 10.00-18.00
Tour the statues of Ennis.
I've only seen a few, but according to the bumpf from the Tourist Office there are 67 pieces of permanent sculpture in Ennis. The first one is called Trinity on Harmony Row close to Club bridge. When I was researching Ennis on VT I came across the picture of "mvtouring" saying she didn't know what it was called and had no info. I actually parked quite close to it and took these photos and then asked the TO about it, and they gave me a booklet about all the sculptures.
2) "Contentment is wealth" - A woman playing a fiddle with another empty chair beside her. At O'Connell square beneath the great mans statue.
3) "Hands giving praise" - Outside the cathedral at the bottom of O'Connell street.
4) "Doing the deal" is a four-piece set depicting the bartering between two farmers for the bellowing cow." - At the Market square.
5) "St. Francis" - At the Ennis Friary, on Abbey street.
Be prepared to be blown away by the magnificent arquitecture of Dromoland Castle, a fairly 'new' construction in Ireland with unbelievable gardens.
Take time for a coffee at the local restaurant (a bit pricy), enjoy!
It is also a hotel starting aroun 165 euros and up. Its worth it!
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The Clare museum has various items on display from the County Clare region. They have a very interesting collection of stone age axes, you will also find an interesting exhibit about J P Holland the inventor of the submarine. Admission is free.
St Columba's Church
We were looking for the cathedral, took a wrong turning and found this lovely church. sometimes one can be glad that you get lost, cause that is when you discover other fantastic things that you might have missed. The disestablishment of the Church of Ireland from 1871 by an Act of Parliament led that Church to sell many of its estates and bishops' palaces, in the process laying off many Protestant workers who themselves then moved away. However the wealthy protestant William Murphy donated land outside the town centre for the building of this quaint church.
The River Fergus flows through Ennis, and our hostel was right next to the river. From our balcony we could watch the water run underneath, wondering where it was running through en-route to its end destination.
Walking through Ennis, you will get to O'Connell square with the monument to Irish nationalist hero Daniel O'Connell which stands atop a tall column, the site of the old courthouse where he won the Clare by-elections in 1828. You will see this monument from quite a distance.
St. Columba's Church
The ancient Friary was adopted for use as a parish church (Church of Ireland) in 1615 for several united parishes, the ancient churches of these places being allowed to fall into ruin. The present church in Bindon Street (St. Columba's Church) was built on the Disestablishment of the Irish Church in 1896.
Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul
Nice to see that these old cathedrals are still being used. There must have been a wedding the day before our visit, as the flowers were still very fresh. It really gave a lovely look to the entrance of the cathedral as well as the inside.
What a lovely little town with many surprises for the traveller that is able to walk to explore. I loved all the "surprises" that was in waiting for us to discover. the architecture was stunning and those narrow streets fun.
The view from our balcony was over the river Fergus and the Friary tower. This fransciscan friary dates back to the 13th C and hosts many 15th & 16th C sculptures. Conservation works were going on during our visit.
Open: early April - September
daily 10h00 - 18h00
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