Gort is situated 20 miles south of Galway city. It lies in a natural gap between the Slieve Aughty Mountains and The Burren. The name comes from 'Gort Inse Guaire' or 'garden of Guaire's island'. Guaire Aidhne was said to have been a 6th century King of Connacht whose palace was located at the curve of the Cannahowna / Gort river.
While the town history can be dated back to the 6th century, it is recent history which places Gort high on the list of tourist attractions in Galway. The focus of this attraction is its associations with W.B. Yeats who lived at Thoor Ballylee, Lady Augusta Gregory, who lived at Coole Park (her famous one act play "Spreading the News" was set in the market square in Gort) and Edward Martyn, who lived at Tulira Castle. W.B. Yeats, G.B. Shaw, Sean O'Casey, J.M. Synge and Lady Gregory launched the Celtic Literary Renaissance. Gort is still the principal market town in South Galway. It would be hard to imagine an area more rich in physical beauty, archaeological, historical and literary interest, than that of South Galway and the Burren.
The picturesque fishing village of Kinvara and the welcoming market town of Gort are the main centres of population whose history have been entwined since King Guaire reigned in the 6th century. The hunting tradition of the Galway Blazers fox hounds who are based in Craughwell and the world famous oyster beds of Clarinbridge and Kilcolgan are also unique features of the area. It is little wonder then that this most southerly pocket of Connaught has been the home and inspiration to world famous writers such as W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and Raftery, the blind Irish poet.
This unique area is bathed by the warm waters of Galway Bay to the West, guarded by the Slieve Aughty mountains to the East and to the South the majestic expanses of the world famous Burren. We feel sure that a short or hopefully lengthy visit to this area will provide you and your fellow travellers with many and varied experiences and treasured memories. Aloha Surf School
Aloha Surf School runs Surfing Lessons and Sea Kayaking Tours in the heart of the Burren in Fanore and Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. Their watersports school caters for all ages and abilities, from Beginner and Improver Surfing Lessons for Adults, Kids Surf Camps, Family Surf Lessons and equipment rental for those with experience.
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Kilmacduagh Monastic Site
The Kilmacduagh Monastic Site is one of the jewels of the West of Ireland. It exudes peace and tranquillity. Set against the backdrop of the Burren Mountains, this site has the highest Round Tower in Ireland. The Monastic Ruins, often referred to as The Seven Churches. Round Tower: This is the highest Round Tower in Ireland, being 120 ft. high. It is Ireland's Pisa as it leans at least two feet from the perpendicular. It probably dates to the 10th century and tradition says that the builder was the legendary tradesman, the Goban Saor. Cathedral: The oldest part of Teampaill Mor Mac Duagh is the west gable. Later additions were the south transept, Our Lady's Chapel and the north transept, the O'Shaughnessy Chapel, named after the local ruling family. Glebe House: Seancloch is a large two-storey ,castellated structure standing north of the cathedral. It was the bishop's or abbot's house.Ê
O'Hynes Abbey: This is a beautiful 13th century building which stands apart from the other ecclesiastical ruins.
Other Ruins: Teampaill Mhuire, situated across the road; St. John the Baptist Church and Teampaill Beg Mac Duach