Planning permission extended for new Kylemore Abbey monastery

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Galway Daily news Planning permission extended for new Kylemore Abbey monastery

More time is being sought to build a new monastery building for the Benedictine Nuns at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara.

The Kylemore Trust intends to build a part single-storey, part three-storey monastery building to the rear of the existing Chapel at the Abbey.

Works will also involve demolishing and reconstructing a single storey building adjacent to the Chapel, the demolition of a storage unit, and building an ESB substation with an adjacent switchroom.

Planning permission was first granted for the project by the county council in 2018, and is due to expire in October of 2023.

The EOD application states that the development has commenced, but is on-hold due to COVID-19.

It is now expected that construction would be completed in 2028 at the latest.

The design statement for the new monastery included with the original planning application says that a “monastery should be its own isolated environment, free from the outside world.”

“Over the years as the abbey has opened itself more to the public, becoming a tourist destination, this sense of isolation has eroded. The new monastery should once again establish this boundary.”

While the design includes a public area for visitors and guests, it draws a clear line between that and the inner monastery.

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery acquired in 1920 for the Benedictine nuns who fled Ypres in Belgium during WWI.

The nuns restored the abbey from an old Victorian castle built in 1868 on the shores of Lough Pollacapall in Connemara.

The new monastery is for accommodating the Benedictine sisters on the existing abbey grounds.