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Monastic Sites

Quin Friary

Quin Friary

West Ireland | County Clare

The well preserved friary in Quin, County Clare, was founded around 1402 by MacNamara clan for franciscan friars, and became an Observant Reformed house in 1433. It was established on the ruins of four-towered Norman castle built here by Thomas de Clare around 1280, and destroyed by native Irish clans after winnig battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318. The remain...   more info and photos

St Tola's Church

St Tola's Church

West Ireland | County Clare

St Tola's Church, also known as Dysert O'Dea Abbey is located about 4 km south of Corofin town in County Clare, near Dysert O'Dea Castle. The ruins which have survived to this day, date from 12th century and was altered few times throughout its existence, but first monastic settlement was founded here in 8th century by St Tola. The most notable feature of th...   more info and photos

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Midlands Ireland | County Tipperary

The iconic complex of Medieval buildings, the Rock of Cashel, is located in the town of Cashel, at the heart of County Tipperary, just off the M8 motorway. This one of the most important and most visited tourist attraction in Ireland is spectacularly situated on a limestone outcrop, proudly overlooking surrounding plains of the Golden Vale. It is also known ...   more info and photos

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey

West Ireland | County Galway

Kylemore Abbey is located in the heart of Connemara in County Galway and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland. Before it became home for Irish Benedictine Nuns it was a privat castle built by Mitchell Henry in 1860's as gift for his wife Margaret. The estate was designed by James Franklin Fuller and is beautifully situated on lake shore,...   more info and photos

Clonfert Cathedral

Clonfert Cathedral

West Ireland | County Galway

The small Cathedral located in Clonfert, in east County Galway is truly a hidden gem, which has one of the best examples of Hiberno-Romanesque decoration in Ireland. The first early Christian monastery was established here in the 6th century by St Brendan the Navigator and it's said that the Saint himself is buried in the churchyard. The monastery was a impo...   more info and photos

Killemlagh Church

Killemlagh Church

Southwest Ireland | County Kerry

Killemlagh Church (Cill Imleach) is a ruin of an Irish Romanesque church dating from 12th century. Is said to have been built on the place of early Christian monastery founded by St Finian. In 19th century the new chapel was attached to already ruined medieval church. Killemlagh is situated on picturesque Skellig Ring Drive between the villages of Portmagee ...   more info and photos

Muckross Friary

Muckross Friary

Southwest Ireland | County Kerry

Muckross Friary is located in Killarney National Park just about 1.5km from Muckross House and Gardens (about 4,5 km south of Killarney, just off the road N71). It was founded by Donal MacCarthy Mór in 1448 for Observantine Franciscans. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1540s friary was officialy suspended but friars stayed there until they wer...   more info and photos

Kilfane Church

Kilfane Church

southeast Ireland | County Kilkenny

Kilfane Church is located about 5 km north east from Thomastown in County Kilkenny. The ruins which survived to this day, dates from the 14th or 15th century but also some features from older structure are still visible. A 13th century sedilia near the altar is believed to have come from an earlier church. Defensive tower adjoining the church had residentia...   more info and photos

St. Mary Church, Gowran

St. Mary Church, Gowran

southeast Ireland | County Kilkenny

The Saint Mary's Collegiate Church is situated in the centre of Gowran village in County Kilkenny. The church was built in 1225 and is believed that at that time it was the only known church in Ireland with square tower in the centre. Over the centuries many changes has undergone . In the 15th century tower was strengthened and raised, and the battlements ...   more info and photos

Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey

southeast Ireland | County Kilkenny

Jerpoint is ruined Cistercian abbey located about 2 km southwest of Thomastown (road R448), in County Kilkenny. Abbey was founded probably by Donal MacGillapatrick King of Ossory, around 1160. The monks of the Cistercian Order from Baltinglass Abbey (Co Wicklow) moved there around the 1180 and probably then much of the construction was completed. Jerpoint A...   more info and photos

Corcomroe Abbey

Corcomroe Abbey

West Ireland | County Clare

Corcomroe Abbey, located in the north of the Burren region (aprox 8km east of Ballyvaughan), County Clare, is an early 13th-century Cistercian monastery of which the foundation is attributed either to Donal Mór Ua Briain (Donald O'Brien), or his successor Donough Cairbreach. They were chieftains of the powerful O'Brien clan and the founders of many other rel...   more info and photos

Kildreelig Early Christian Site

Kildreelig Early Christian Site

Southwest Ireland | County Kerry

Kildreelig Early Christian Site is located in southeastern part of Bolus Head, 4.5km southwest from Ballinskelligs (just 1km further than Kilrelig Artist Retreat Village), in County Kerry. The remains of this early Christian settlement dates from 8th century and contains ruins of oratory and huts, souterrain and part of enclosing wall, but the most remarkab...   more info and photos

Tully Church and High Crosses

Tully Church and High Crosses

East Ireland | County Dublin

Remains of Tully Church are located in Laughanstown near Cabinteely, on southern suburbs of Dublin. The site consists of ruined medieval church and two stone high crosses and is reputed to be dedicated to St. Bridget. The exact date of construction of first church in this place is unknown but the remains of foundation of the early nave may be from 9th centur...   more info and photos

Clontuskert Augustinian Priory

Clontuskert Augustinian Priory

West Ireland | County Galway

The ruins of Augustinian Priory of St Mary also known as Clontuskert Abbey is located 5 km south from Ballinasloe (just off road R355) in County Galway. It was founded in the 12th century by Turlough O'Connor (King of Connaught) on the site of an earlier monastery established in the 7th century by St Baeden but there are no surviving remains from that perio...   more info and photos

Hill of Slane

Hill of Slane

East Ireland | County Meath

Hill of Slane located in County Meath (visible from road N2 in Slane Village) has been associated with Christianity in Ireland since its earliest days. The legend says that here, on Easter 433 AD St Patrick lit the first paschal fire, which was against druidic law. As a consequence of this incident he was hauled before King Laoghaire (pagan High King of Tara...   more info and photos

Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey

West Ireland | County Mayo

Ballintubber Abbey (Tobar Padraic) is located 12 km south of Castlebar, near the village of Ballintubber (2km off road N84) in County Mayo. It was founded in 1216 by King of Connacht, Cathal O’Conor (Cathal Crobhdearg Ua Conchobair) and is known as the Ireland’s only royal abbey that has been in continuous use until today. Even in the time of dissolution of ...   more info and photos

Ardmore Montastic Complex

Ardmore Montastic Complex

Southeast Ireland | County Waterford

Monastic Complex in Ardmore, County Waterford is the one of the earliest monastic sites in Ireland. It was founded in late 5th century by St Declan, who began mission of christianization before the coming of Saint Patrick. The oldest building of medieval monastic city is St Declan's Oratory from 8th century, which is believed to have been built over the buri...   more info and photos

Ferns Abbey

Ferns Abbey

Southeast Ireland | County Wexford

St. Mary's Abbey is a ruin of Augustinian monastery located in historic village of Ferns, founded by King Dermot MacMurrough in 1158, who died in 1171 and was buried in abbey grounds. The monastery was built on the site of an Early Christian settlement founded by St Aidan in AD 598, which was repeatedly plundered by the Vikings between years 834 and 937, ...   more info and photos

Dalkey Island

Dalkey Island

East Ireland | County Dublin

Dalkey Island a small, uninhabited, picturesque landmass situated just 300 m of the Coliemore Harbour, near Dalkey Village, southern suburb of Dublin. The oldest building on the island is ruin of St Begnet's church from between 9th and 10th Century, but excavations from 1950's revealed evidence of continuous human activity on the island since neolithic pe...   more info and photos

Kilmalkedar Church

Kilmalkedar Church

Southwest Ireland | County Kerry

Kilmalkedar Church (Cill Maolcheadair) is located 8 km to the northwest of the town of Dingle (road R559), on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. This twelve-century Romanesque church was built on the site of early-Christian monastic settlement from the 7th century, founded by St. Malkedar - grandson of the King of Ulster. The church consists of the na...   more info and photos

Cooley Cross and Skull House

Cooley Cross and Skull House

Northwest Ireland | County Donegal

Cooley Cross and Skull House are located just 1,5 km from Town of Moville towards Cooley Village (west of Moville), on Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. It was important site for pagan worship in pre-Christian times, and then transformed into an early Christian settlement (there is no exact datas, who and when founded the monastery, but it's believed, t...   more info and photos

Timahoe Round Tower

Timahoe Round Tower

Midlands Ireland | County Laois

Timahoe Round Tower is located in the village of Timahoe about 12 km southeast from town of Portlaoise (road R426) in County Laois. The name "Timahoe" comes from "Tigh Mochua", what means House of Mochua (St Mochua was hermit who founded here the first monastic settlement in 7th century). The settlement was raided and the oratory was burned in 919 and again ...   more info and photos

Cloncha Church and High Cross

Cloncha Church and High Cross

Northwest Ireland | County Donegal

Cloncha Church and High Cross are located near Culdaff village on Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal. The remains of the Cloncha Church (Church of Ireland) dates from 17th century and was built on the site of an earlier monastery, founded by St Buodan around the 6th century. The lintel over the west door of the church has figure carvings and is derived f...   more info and photos

Meelick Round Tower

Meelick Round Tower

West Ireland | County Mayo

Meelick Round Tower is located about 6 km southwest from Swinford in County Mayo (on a side road just next to the N5). It was built probably at some time between 923 and 1013 AD and is the only preserved structure of the St. Broccaidh's monastery which was here. The tower is about 21m high, its diameter is close to 5.5 m and the doorway is placed 3,5 m above...   more info and photos

Turlough Round Tower

Turlough Round Tower

West Ireland | County Mayo

Turlough Round Tower is located around 7 km northeast of Castlebar on the north side of the N5 just outside of Turlough Village in County Mayo (near the National Museum of Folk Life). Constructed in 9th century its one of the earliest round towers in Ireland. It is about 23m high and close to 5.5 m diameter what makes the tower look short and squat. It has r...   more info and photos

Burrishoole Friary

Burrishoole Friary

West Ireland | County Mayo

Burrishoole Friary - the ruins of the Dominican friary dedicated to St Mary, founded around 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough, who took the habit under the Dominican Order for the last three years of his life. He built the abbey without pope's permission and the friary was excommunicated until 1486. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 16th cen...   more info and photos

Skellig Islands

Skellig Islands

Southwest Ireland | County Kerry

The Skellig Islands (Irish: Na Scealaga) are two small, rocky islands : Great Skellig (also known as Skellig Michael) and Little Skellig. Islands are located about 12 km off the coast of Portmagee on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. The Skellig Micheal is renowned for its Early Christian Monastic Settlement (designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site...   more info and photos

Gallarus Oratory

Gallarus Oratory

Southwest Ireland | County Kerry

Gallarus Oratory (Irish: Séipéilín Ghallarais, what means "The Church of the Place of the Foreigners") located on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, it is probably early Christian church. Is believed to have been built between the 6th century and 9th century. There is no clear evidence when and by whom was built but one is sure, it was built with perfect pr...   more info and photos

Glendalough

Glendalough

East Ireland | County Wicklow

Glendalough – (vally of two lakes) one of the most important Early Christian monastic sites in Ireland. The monastery was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and flourished throughout the next centuries. It was known in Europe at that time, as a center of learning(knowledge). Monastic settlement survived several Viking raids in 9th and 10th century and...   more info and photos

Holy Island (Inis Cealtra)

Holy Island (Inis Cealtra)

West Ireland | County Clare

Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) is a small inland island located on Lough (lake) Derg, near Mountshannon Village in county Clare. The place is known because of located there ruins of monastic complex. The monastery was founded by St. Colum of Terryglass in 6th century. ln the mid-7th century, St. Caimin built a small church. The settlement was pillaged by the Vik...   more info and photos

Dunbrody Abbey

Dunbrody Abbey

Southeast Ireland | County Wexford

Dunbrody Abbey is a Cistercian monastery ruin located on Hook Peninsula in county Wexford. Was founded by Hervey de Montmarisco (uncle of Strongbow - one of the first Normans who arrived to settle Ireland) in the 1170s. Modest appearance and impressive size of monastic complex (it has one of the largest naves of all Irish churches) makes it uniqe. Durin...   more info and photos

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey

Southeast Ireland | County Wexford

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head Peninsula, county Wexford - the ruins of the Cistercian abbey, founded about the year 1200 by the Anglo-Norman William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster. During his first journey to Ireland his boat was caught in storm near Bannow Bay. He vowed to fund the abbey in this area, if he survives. The name "Tintern" was given ...   more info and photos

Temple Cronan

Temple Cronan

West Ireland | County Clare

Temple Cronan is a small church, sited inside a small walled enclosure located 1.5km north-east from village of Carran, in east part of Burren, County Clare. It was built in the 12th century and in those days, it was monastic settlement containing the church, two shrines, termon (peace of land around a church giving right of sanctuary), at least one termon ...   more info and photos

Kilmacduagh

Kilmacduagh

West Ireland | County Galway

Kilmacduagh (Cill Mhic Dhuach) was founded by St Colman Mac Duach early in the 7th century. Kilmacduagh has one of the finest collection of monastic, buildings in Ireland. The churches were plundered in the 13th century but the site remained the seat of a Bishop until the 16th century. The modern diocese still bears the name of the early monastery. ...   more info and photos