North-west 12 miles (19 km) from Loughrea is Athenry. The Dominican priory founded here in 1241 was an important house of the Order, in 1644 it had a brief revival as a university, but the buildings were soon to be destroyed by the Cromwellians. Interesting features are the rows of lancet windows in the nave and choir, the tomb recesses, the mural tablet in Latin, French and English (1682), and the large tomb of Lady M. Bermingham (1799) which occupies the centre of the chancel; the north transept has a beautiful arcade with trefoil-headed niches.
Other points of interest at Athenry are the castle (1238), the market cross and part of the old town walls. Between Athenry and Galway city is the pleasant town of Oranmore, at the head of a creek that forms part of Galway Bay. The castle was built by the Earl of Clanricarde.
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