During the middle ages the North Mall was the site of a Franciscan friary. The friary was known variously as Shandon Abbey, North Abbey, St Mary's Shandon and St Francis's Abbey. The friary was almost certainly founded by Diarmaid MacCarthy Mór, King of Desmond, in 1229. It was suppressed during the Reformation but the ruins of the friary survived until 1836 when they were demolished before the building of Abbey Square. A well whose waters were popularly supposed to have curative properties existed near the friary. The well is recalled in the name of the present-day Franciscan Well Microbrewery on the North Mall.
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