the ennis friary is the town's main attraction. founded by the franciscans in the 1240's. there were several additions to the friary in the 14th and 15th centuries. the friary has some interesting medieval carvings as well as the macmahon tomb with it's alabaster panels.
ennis is a great town to do a pub crawl. there are numerous pubs in the town center. pictured is ciarans bar. the interesting sign on the outside depicts a "strong" pint of guinness beating the weaker lager pints in hurling.
On Arthur's Row in Ennis, sits a small, unassuming, structure. Once a school ran by the Sister's of Mercy, it is now the home of the Clare Museum. I spent a full day in this small museum studying every artifact and historical gem. I learned all about Ennis and other Clare towns, as well as the stories of Brian Boru, last high king of Ireland, and his descendents, the O'Briens; John Philip Holland, the inventor of the submarine; and Shannon's role in navigation and as an airport. It is an absolutely fascinating, highly overlooked gem of a museum. In the Clare Museum, local legends and lore come alive in story boards, audio-visual displays, and delightful artifact displays. One of my favorite displays, being catholic, was the display featuring local saints, Caimin, Senan, and Colman, as well as monasteries, abbeys, holy wells and the Holy Island (Inis Cealtra).
ennis offers a very interesting museum displaying artifacts from county clare. in the museum there is an interesting collection of stone age axes. there also is an interesting exhibit about j.p. holland who invented the submarine. a worth while stop when in ennis. admission is free.
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!
If you are spending any time in Ennis, stop by the Tourist Office located next to the Clare Musuem on Arthur's Row. The friendly staff will fix you up at a B&B and are knowledgeble of the County Clare region.
We picked up a flyer for the Walking tour at the Tourist office. You just need to show up at the Temple Gate courtyard. We did this tour the 1st evening while in Ennis and discovered places we wanted to see later during our stay.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.