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Creevelea Abbey
Mainistir na Craoibhe Léithe
Creevelea Abbey, County Leitrim.jpg
Creevelea Abbey is located in Ireland
Creevelea Abbey
Location in Ireland
Monastery information
Other names Creevlea Abbey, Creebelea Abbey, Craobhliath, Crowlekale, Crueleach, Carrag Patrice, Petra Patricii, Druim-da-ethair, Baile-ui-ruairc, Ballegruaircy, Cuivelleagh, Killanummery.
Order Third Order of Saint Francis (Order of Penance)
Established 1508
Disestablished 1837
Diocese Kilmore
Founder(s) Eóghan Ó Ruairc
Status Inactive
Location Creevelea, Dromahair, County Leitrim
Coordinates 54°13′53″N 8°18′35″W / 54.231291°N 8.309791°W / 54.231291; -8.309791
Visible remains church walls, one or two unstable stairs, the perimeter structure.
Public access yes, as a burial site
National Monument of Ireland
Reference #: 69

Creevelea Abbey is a medieval Franciscan friary and National Monument located in DromahairCounty Leitrim, Ireland. Creeveley Abbey is now in use for as a grave yard.


Creevelea Abbey is located west of Dromahair, on the west bank of the Bonet River.


Creevelea Friary was founded in 1508 by Eóghan O'Rourke, Lord of West Bréifne, and his wife Margaret O'Brian, daughter of a King of Thomond. The friary was accidentally burned in 1536 and was rebuilt by Brian Ballach O'Rourke. In 1590 Richard Bingham stabled his horses at Creevelea during his pursuit of Brian O'Rourke, who had sheltered survivors of the Spanish Armada. Dissolved c. 1598.

Sir Tadhg O'Rourke (d. 1605), last King of West Bréifne and Thaddeus Francis O'Rourke (d. 1735), Bishop of Killala are buried here. Another house was built for the friars in 1618 and Creevelea was reoccupied by friars in 1642. The Franciscans were driven out by the Cromwellian Army in the 1650s. After the Restoration, the abbey remained in use until 1837.


The remains consist of the church (nave, chancel, transept and choir), chapter house, cloister and domestic buildings. The bell-tower was converted to living quarters in the 17th century. At one point in its history the church was covered with a thatched roof. Carved in the cloister is an image of Saint Francis of Assisi preaching to birds.

Archaeological Preservation

The site is preserved as a national monument.

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