If you were a monk in residence in the 1400s at Quin Abbey in Quin, County Clare, Ireland, you might have been sitting at your desk here, meticulously scripting and decorating religious documents as the Irish daylight streamed through the sculpted columns.
All that remains of this once revered Medieval hallmark of higher religious learning are the ruins of weathered stone walls, elegant arches and somber tombstones of those who died during multiple massacres and attacks over the centuries.
The history of Quin Abbey National Monument actually reaches back hundreds of years before the current Abbey was established in 1433.
An earlier monastery was built in this location in 1250, but it was destroyed by fire in 1278. Two years later, a Norman castle was constructed there, but it, too, was destroyed in an attack, though parts of its original towers remain.
Quin Abbey became a national monument in 1880, and now is administered by by Ireland’s Office of Public Works.