• LOCATION 14 | A Guide to Galway by Bike: Hidden Gems, Haunting Stories and Stunning Vistas

    Saint Nicholas Church

    Saint Nicholas Church on Galway audio tour A Guide to Galway by Bike: Hidden Gems, Haunting Stories and Stunning Vistas

    Stop here in front of the entrance to the church.

    The church was founded by the Knight's Templar in 1320 and is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Mariners and children. Take a look at the above at the stone gargoyles. They are rich in symbolism. They warn of the seven deadly sins lurking everywhere outside, a juxtaposition to the sanctity of the church inside.

    Inside the church at the end wall, there is a replica of the 1651 map of Galway. There's a photo of it now on your screen.

    The map gives a true extent of the medieval city and the streetscape is the same today and it was at this time. The map was commissioned by Ulick De Burgh, the Marquis of Clanricharde to raise £20,000 from the Duke of Lorraine in France for the defense of the city. The citizens of Galway had supported King Charles 1st and their support for the king was their undoing. The Parliamentarian forces led by Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland and laid siege to Galway for over eight months. The Cromwellians had deposed Charles 1st of England and executed him. The Anglo Irish, who were in power in Ireland, supported the King and a confederacy was formed by both the Gaelic Irish and the Anglo Irish to oppose Cromwell. What they had in common was the Catholic religion and the fear of Protestantism being imposed on them by Cromwell. The Cromwellian's forces laid siege to Galway for eight months until the city capitulated in 1652. Immediately they seized all the citizen’s property and many women and children were sent as slaves to Barbados at this time.

    Feel free to pop inside to have a look around if you like. When you're done, return the way from which you came. Turn right when you're back on the street and continue along Market Street, keeping the church on your right.

    I'll meet you further along the street by the Lynch Memorial about 100 metres on the right.

A Guide to Galway by Bike: Hidden Gems, Haunting Stories and Stunning Vistas