Tuam Tourist Attractions
Tuam (Tuaim, "Burial-Place") lies to the east of Lough Corrib on the N17, in the west of Ireland. It is a thriving little market town with some industry, including a sugar factory, and is a good center for fishing.Tuam was a place of great ecclesiastical importance from an early period. The town's first and second Protestant archbishops were associated with the production of the first Irish translation of the New Testament in 1602. It is now the see of a Roman Catholic archbishop and a bishop of the Church of Ireland.
St Mary's Cathedral
The 19th C. St Mary's Cathedral (Church of Ireland) on Tuam's Galway Road incorporates the barrel-vaulted chancel with a beautifully carved chancel arch and a fine east window, of the original church (12th and 14th C). In the south aisle is the ornamented shaft of a 12th C. high cross. The choir stalls are Italian Baroque (c. 1740).
In Tuam's Market Square stands a high cross (12th C.; National Monument) assembled from various fragments, with a number of figures and interlace ornament.
The surroundings of Tuam have many features of interest.
8mi/13km northeast of Tuam on the N83 lies Dunmore, an old place with the ruins of a castle and an abbey (both National Monuments). The castle (14th C.) consists of a sturdy four-story rectangular tower with gables. The abbey was an Augustinian friary founded in 1425 by a member of the Bermingham family; all that survives is the church, with a massive central tower borne on arches.
7mi/11km southeast of Tuam on the R347 and N63 (the Roscommon road), picturesquely situated on a small lough, are the ruins of Knockmoy Abbey (National Monument), a Cistercian house founded in 1190. The nave is undecorated but the choir has some fine carving. On the north wall is one of Ireland's few examples of medieval wall painting, dating from about 1400. Only the outlines, drawn in black, have survived. The scenes depicted are Christ in the attitude of blessing, the Martyrdom of St Sebastian and the legend of the three dead and the three living kings. Under the three dead kings was the inscription: "That which you are, we were; that which we are, you will be." The east wing of the conventual buildings is well preserved, but the cloister no longer exists.
2.5mi/4km northwest of Tuam, at Kilbennan, are a partly collapsed round tower and the ruins of a small church (both National Monuments), on the site of an old Franciscan friary.