A mainly early 13thc. church, on the shores of Lough Mask, T-plan, now in ruins, with nave, chancel and N and S chambers accessible from the chancel. (nave w. 6.4 m x l. 12.49 m; chancel w. 4.65 m x l. 6.02 m) The chambers were added after the first building campaign. (S chamber w. 3.86 m x l. 5.03 m, N chamber w. 3.81 m x l. 5.03 m) . A further small chamber (w. 1.35 m) is attached to the W wall of the S chamber and the S wall of the nave. There is a doorway in the N wall of the nave, plain with inclined jambs and a massive lintel. There are also a number of large ashlar blocks in the N wall of the nave, and two arcuated lintels (reset in the exterior S wall of the nave and interior S wall of the N transept). These and the doorway may provide evidence for an earlier structure. 13thc. sculpture survives on the chancel arch, on the double window on the gabled E wall of the chancel, and on the L label stop of a window in the S wall of the nave (only part of the masonry of the window survives). There is a plain window, with arcuated lintel, on the E wall of the N transept, which also has a gabled N wall.
In the 7thc. an abbey is said to have been founded at Inishmaine by St Corbmac (Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae 751-6, as recorded in Gwynne and Hadcock, 38), and the Annals of the Four Masters and the Monasticum Hybernicum document 'Inismean' as a Benedictine cell. Maelisa Ua Conchobhair (O'Connor), the son of Toirdhelbhach Ua Conchobhair, King of Connaught, was prior at Inishmaine (d.1223/4).
After 1223 the abbey became a convent of Augustinian (Arroasian) nuns and sometime after this was subject to Kilcreevanty, which became the head Arroasian house in Connaught.
Aid, the son of Ruaidri Ua Conchobhair, and Richard de Burgo, burned Inishmaine in 1227 according to the Annals of the Four Masters and Annals of Connaught.
An inquisition of 1587 records a ruined church, among other features, at this site.
A thin roll on the soffit, followed by a roll on the face, then a hollow.
Deeply splayed, the ashlar masonry of the splay is damaged and much of the masonry on the lower edge of the opening is missing. The two coursed orders of mouldings appear to be continuous as on the E face.
The label has a deep double groove on face and soffit, with a small roll between. This continues between the two windows at the level of the springing of the arch. On the L of the window openings, the label extends about 0.15 m with an apparently plain stop (an illustration reproduced in Healy shows a double-headed flower here). On the R of the window openings the stop extends about 0.20 m, terminating in a small shallow-carved triskele (approx 0.10 m in length). Directly above each terminal is a small, recessed carved panel.
L panel: a small figure on horseback. The horse has a long sinuous body and arched neck, and is bridled.
R panel: a bird with a long tail, pursued by a beast with bared teeth. The bird's neck extends back over its body as it turns to look at its pursuer. (The illustration in Healy shows both creatures with floriated tails).
A small roll-moulding, emphasised by a groove on the face, follows the first order hollow. The inner jambs of the windows are of coursed blocks, with a narrow fillet between the second order mouldings.
The chamfered label is carved with a hollow between two small rolls, joining in a point between the two windows, with carved label stops on the outer sides, into which the label mouldings extend slightly.
L label stop: a round-eyed feline, facing S.
R label stop: a bird with short wings outstretched, leaping to attack a beast which has toppled backwards - the inverse of the carving on the panel on the exterior R of the window.
A splayed window of one order
Only part of the L side of this window remains, no mouldings remain on the exterior.
A keeled nook shaft which was probably continuous as E window. The face is plain. The label is chamfered and the label stop has a downward curling leaf straddling the angle, with spatulate fluted lobes and scalloped edges.
S capital: the S face has a central stem with symmetrical, branching, reeded leaves with fleshy scalloped edges, with a similar inward facing leaf growing from the plain collar on either side and a reeded lily on the angles. E and W faces are similar, but with the central stem surmounted by a lily and a small leaf in the outer angle. The plain collar extends small triangular projections between the plants.
As second order
N capital: a beast on the S face, standing on its hind legs, and with a leonine tail, confronts a dragon carved on the W face, which has a curling tail terminating in a triskele. The dragon bites the nose of the beast. Both have bared teeth, staring drilled eyes, and sharply delineated rib-cages. The beast has its ears placed one behind the other on its head.
S capital: a lily is carved on the angle with triskeles forming its outer leaves. Just below this are two symmetrical stems, one forming a circle on the W face the other on the N face, touching on the angle and terminating in a four circles each containing a four-lobed equivalent of a triskele, forming a square within the circle of the spiralling stem.
S capital: four round stems interlace along the angle before branching out to terminate in bulbous projecting leaf forms which join again on the angle, the lower one broken.