Clonmacnoise

Introduction
The founder of Clonmacnois St. Ciaran was born at Raith Cremthain in County Roscommon on February 24th C512. Before settling in Clonmacnois he visited St. Enda on Inismoe and St. Senans monastery on Scattery Island. He founded his first church at Inis Aingin (Hare Island) on Lough Ree, leaving it three years later to found another church at a place called Ard maintain but the site has never been located. Again he left and sailed down the Shannon to Ard Tiprait on Cluain Moccu Nois (The meadow of the sons of Nois) which could later become known as Clonmacnois. However tragedy struck when St. Ciaran died within seven months of its foundation.

Main Features of Attraction in Clonmacnois

Round towers
Clonmacnois contains two round towers. The round towers of Ireland were used as belfries but their Iris name "cloichtheach" suggests that they were also used for places of refuge or to keep watch. It is thought they offered protection against the Viking attacks.

Seven Churches
The presence of seven churches in the enclosure of Clonmacnois is testament to the religious fervour which was installed by St. Ciaran. The saint himself is thought to be buried in "Teampall Chiaran" which is in a structure of twelve and a half feet in length and is thought to be built on the site of his first original church which was constructed of wattle and daub.

High Crosses
The three high crosses of Clonmacnois are known as the North Cross, the South Cross and the Cross of the Scriptures.

The Nuns Church
This church is situated a quarter of a mile east of the monastery enclosure and offers a fine example of Irish Romanesque architecture with its beautiful doorway and wonderfully carved channel arch.

Links to more info

Heritage Ireland

Photo Albums

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