Situated on a 138 acre estate overlooking Lough Corrib, Glenlo Abbey Hotel was the ancestral home of the Ffrench family, one of the famous fourteen Tribes that ruled over Galway for centuries. Another Tribe, the Blake’s lived at Glenlo Abbey in the late 1800′s until the Palmers, a well known merchant family bought Glenlo Abbey in the early 1900′s and resided there for three generations. The original house dates back to 1740, and is still privately owned by the Bourke Family.
Most of the great Irish Houses of the past (known as the Big Houses by the populace at large) invariably had a private chapel in close proximity. The Abbey is an example of such historic family tradition and was built very close to the main house because the lady of the House was an invalid. However, although the building work started in 1790, the structure was never finished, consecrated or used as Mrs Ffrench actually died upon its construction. The Abbey fell into a neglected state but was caringly restored by Peggy Bourke. Today it is used for small, private meetings, dinners and receptions.