Clonmacnoise Monastic Site

Map Reference: N010307 (2010, 2307)

Clonmacnoise was founded in 548 by St Ciaran. It became one of the greatest centres of medieval learning in Ireland. The buildings which exist today are no older than the 10th century and include two Round Towers, two High Crosses and at least seven churches.

Excavation revealed many intact and fragmentary cross-inscribed grave markers. For many years they were exhibited on the site but have now been removed for safe-keeping. Similarly the two High Crosses have been removed from their original positions to within the visitor's centre in order to preserve the carvings which are of high quality.

They have been replaced by accurate copies. The Cross of the Scriptures which is richly decorated with Biblical scenes has one panel showing St Ciaran and Prince Dermot erecting the corner-post of the church at Clonmacnoise.

This scene may never have happened since there is no evidence that the saint and prince ever met. The cross was erected in the 10th century under the patronage of King Flann who was a descendant of Dermot. The Cathedral has a finely decorated north doorway with figures of St Patrick, St Francis and St Dominic.

There are some fine examples of Romanesque decoration particularly in Temple Finghin.

This small church has an attached round tower which at first glance appears to be a typical Round Tower. However the tower is entered at ground level from within the church and is considered to be merely a belfry modelled on a Round Tower.

For detailed photos of the Clonmacnois High Crosses click HERE

For details of other Round Towers click on the links below

Antrim, Co Antrim Armoy, Co Antrim St Mullin’s, Co Carlow Drumlane, Co Cavan Drumcliff, Co Clare Dysert O’Dea, Co Clare Cloyne, Co Cork Kinneigh, Co Cork Tory Island, Co Donegal Drumbo, Co Down Maghera, Co Down Nendrum, Co Down Lusk, Co Dublin Swords, Co Dublin Devenish, Co Fermanagh Kilbennan, Co Galway Kilmacduagh, Co Galway Roscam, Co Galway Aghadoe, Co Kerry Ratoo, Co Kerry Castledermott, Co Kildare Kildare, Co Kildare Kilcullen, Co Kildare Oughterard, Co Kildare Taghadoe, Co Kildare Aghaviller, Co Kilkenny Grangefertagh, Co Kilkenny Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny Kilree, Co Kilkenny Tullaherin, Co Kilkenny Timahoe, Co Laois Kilmallock, Co Limerick Dromiskin, Co Louth Monasterboice, Co Louth Aghagower, Co Mayo Balla, Co Mayo Killala, Co Mayo Meelick, Co Mayo Turlough, Co Mayo Donaghmore, Co Meath Kells, Co Meath Clones, Co Monaghan Boyle, Co Roscommon Oran, Co Roscommon Drumcliffe, Co Sligo Cashel, Co Tipperary Roscrea, Co Tipperary Ardmore, Co Waterford Glendalough, Co Wicklow

For details of other Figured High Crosses click on the links below

Dysert O’Dea, Co Clare Kilfenora, Co Clare Killaloe, Co Clare Camus, Co Derry Carndonagh, Co Donegal Donaghmore, Co Down Boho, Co Fermanagh Galloon, Co Fermanagh Tuam, Co Galway Castledermott, Co Kildare Moone, Co Kildare Kilkeeran, Co Kilkenny Killamery, Co Kilkenny Kilree, Co Kilkenny Monasterboice, Co Louth Termonfeckin, Co Louth Duleek, Co Meath Kells, Co Meath Kells Market Cross, Co Meath Killary, Co Meath Clones, Co Monaghan Durrow, Co Offaly Drumcliffe, Co Sligo Ahenny, Co Tipperary Arboe, Co Tyrone Donaghmore, Co Tyrone

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