According to the annals of the Four Masters, in 1278:

the victory of Quin (Cuinche) was gained by Donough the son of Brian Roe and the other sons of O'Brian, over the earl of Clare; they burned the church of Cuinche over the heads of his people and caused an indescribable destruction of them, both by burning and by killing.

Against this the annals of Innisfallen state that during 1280:

The castle of Quin (Cuinche) was begun by Thomas Clare, and as he was engaged in building it, the sons of Tadc O'Brian, viz. Tairdelbach and Domnall, went to attack him by night, and he [Clare] was nearly killed.  He escaped to Bunratty (Bun Raite) and his entire army, including barons, knights, and warriors, was slain.  And for a long time afterwards none dared approach that place on account of the stench of the dead and the great number of them.

After the death of Thomas Clare, the grandson of Thomas (d.1287), in April 1321, an inquest was held at Bunratty on 2 June which found that Quin (Conyhi) castle had been thrown down during the life of the heir [Thomas (d.1321)?] and could not be rebuilt without great cost.  This would seem to have been the end of the castle and no doubt the current friary was soon afterwards built onto the ruins.  It was also noted that the churches and chapels of Bunratty and Quin were worthless ‘in these times' and that neither Isabel [widow of Gilbert Clare, d.1308] nor Joan [widow of Richard Clare, d.1318, the younger brother and heir of Gilbert, d.1308] had been dowered in these lands.  Thomas would appear to have secured his control over Quin though, for on the death of his son, Richard Clare in 1332, he claimed the advowson of 3 churches, Askeaton, Bunratty and Quin (Conighy).


Perhaps you would like to join me in visiting this and other great castles of Ireland in October with Scholarly Sojourns.  Details of the trip can be found by clicking here.


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