Clonmacnoise Monastery

The Monastery of Clonmacnoise, also known as the "Seven Churches", was founded around 544 by the one who would later be known as one of the twelve apostles of Ireland, Saint Ciarán. The wealth of the monastery attracted the lust of Irish kings, Anglo-Normans and Vikings who plundered and burned it many times between 841 and 1204. The decline of the road bordering Clonmacnoise in favour of the one passing through Athlone around the 11th century marked the beginning of the decline of the site. In 1552, the English garrison of Athlone sacked the monastery. Three high crosses still stand on the site of the monastery, the "Cross of the North", the "Cross of the South" and the "Cross of the Scriptures", dating from the 9th to the 10th century.

About this building

Key Features

  • Architecture
  • Monuments
  • Links to national heritage

Other nearby buildings

Wikimedia Commons/Dirk Huth

Clonfert Cathedral

Clonfert Monastery and Cathedral is a religious building founded by St Brendan in the 6th century. Its abbey church became St Brendan's Cathedral. The oldest part of the present church dates from about 1180. It is Romanesque in style, with carved motifs of human and animal heads and foliage. Its southern transept, which has fallen into ruin, dates from this period; a later northern transept, in the Gothic style, has been removed.

Wikimedia Commons/Vanessa Kennedy

St Brendan's Cathedral

St Brendan's Cathedral is the Catholic cathedral of Loughrea. Although designed in a neo-Gothic style, it houses perhaps the largest collection of neo-Celtic art and craft in Ireland. Its most notable feature is the extensive collection of stained glass windows created by the Dublin studio An Túr Gloine.