Clonfert Cathedral

Map Reference: M960210 (1960, 2210)

A monastery was founded at Clonfert by St Brendan in 563 and the saint is said to be buried there. Much of the cathedral dates from the 15th century but parts of the west wall date from the 12th century. The west doorway is probably the most magnificently decorated Romanesque doorway in Ireland.

It has six orders and an amazing variety of animal heads, human heads, foliage and other motifs. The triangular hood above the door has ten human masks enclosed within small triangles which alternate with other small triangles.

Below this is a blind arcade of five arches each of which has a human mask within it. There are two other masks above the hood. The innermost 450of the doorway was inserted in the 15th century.

The chancel arch, which is also of this date, has some fine carving including a mermaid.

For details of other Decorated Romanesque Doorways & Arches click on the links below

Kilmore Cathedral, Co Cavan Dysert O’Dea, Co Clare Killaloe Cathedral, Co Clare White Island, Co Fermanagh Annaghdown Cathedral, Co Galway Tuam Cathedral, Co Galway Aghadoe, Co Kerry Ardfert Cathedral, Co Kerry Kilmalkedar, Co Kerry Castledermott, Co Kildare Kildare Cathedral, Co Kildare Freshford, Co Kilkenny Ullard, Co Kilkenny Killeshin, Co Laois Timahoe, Co Laois The Nun's Church, Clonmacnois, Co Offaly Rahan, Co Offaly Cashel, Co Tipperary Donaghmore, Co Tipperary Kilcash, Co Tipperary Monaincha, Co Tipperary Roscrea, Co Tipperary St Saviour’s Priory, Glendalough, Co Wicklow

Return to County Galway List
Return to Gazetteer