Clare is one of the very few active English monastic foundations. It is doubly unusual because it was founded in 1248 by the Augustinian Order and is occupied by them once more.
Clare also boasts a Castle and was once the main centre in the area. The Augustinians moved in during the 13th Century and it remained a fairly small foundation right up until the Dissolution arrives in 1538.
The buildings surrounding the Priory remains are mostly of Jacobean origin, although there are very clear indications inside that the Priory buildings were used. The outline of the cloister is still traced by a walled garden and some other remains are dotted around. The current church used by the Monks dates to the 14th Century.
In 1953 Monks from the Irish Augustinian Order bought the property from its then owners and moved back in and today it is a small but thriving community, hosting various public events through the year.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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