The Claregalway Friary was one of the first Franciscan houses founded in the west of Ireland. The friary was strategically located to the nearby castle and the banks of the river Clare.
The friary was built through a number of phases over a long period of time, which is evident in some of the remaining features to be found throughout. As with most friary’s, it faced some turbulent times throughout the centuries.
Initially, in the late 15th century, the friars enjoyed protection from the second earl of Clanricarde, Sir Richard Burke. However, following the death of Burke, friars were expelled and the friary became used as a barracks by English forces.
In the later centuries, friars sporadically used the friary until around the 19th century, where the friary eventually became abandoned.