Near the visitors’ center and museum is a large round tower, built in 1124 by Turlough O’Connor and O’Malone (successor of St. Ciaran). It was struck by lightning in 1135 and the present top is of a later date. As it normally the case, the doorway is well above ground level. It is faced with rectangular limestone blocks.
I stopped at Clonmacnoise during my kayaking trip from Athlone to Limerick. Approaching Clonmacnoise from the river is an unforgetful experience. You can imagine the place as it was a thousand years ago, as there are no modern buildings nearby, and even though most of the larger constructions are much more recent. There is an excellent mooring port, and the museum is great (don't miss the documentary screened inside).
We drove to Clonmacnoise arriving about lunch time. We found out why we should tour popular sites early - two busses of Italian school kids - teenagers, they were bored. We saw the video, ate lunch and wandered around the site. This is a medieval monastery on the river Shannon. Loads of ruins, high crosses, and grave stones.
pictured is the the roofless round tower at clonmacnoise. this tower is 62 ft high. during viking raids the monks would climb wooden ladders to the top of the tower. they would then pull up the ladders so the vikings could not get to them.
This is a beautifully serene and tranquil historical site along the banks of the river Shannon in Co. Offaly. Anyone with an interest in the history of our little country would be advised to take the detour off the main Dublin to Galway road, following the long and winding road that leads to this awesome site.
Entering the visitors centre, you are treated to an audio-visual diary of the monastery from it's founding to the present day, afterwards walking through the dimly lit museum housing some of the most fabulously carved high crosses, stones and artefacts from the grounds, and finally entering the grounds of the monastery. Here you will see the remains of the round towers where the monks would stow their precious manuscripts and artworks during the many raids from their enemies including the Vikings. Note the height from the ground at which the doorways are placed, the monks would climb a ladder into the towers and pull the ladder through so the enemy would have no access. Note also how small the chapels are and how low the doorways!! There is also a beautiful little stone built Church of Ireland chapel within the walls which hosts a Sunday service every Sunday at 4pm from May to September. Also adjoining the monastery is a modern cemetery.
Re-entering the tourist centre you can buy souvenirs including books, posters, bookmarks etc.
It's a sight worth seeing and the photographic opportunities here are spectacular.
The museum at Clonmacnoise shows information about high crosses, about the early monastic life, and you’ll see there some original high crosses and grave slabs of this site.
There’s an audio-visual show of about 20 minutes which is available in several languages. It informs about St Ciarian, the founder of the monastery, and the religious history of Ireland and the history of Clonmacnoise. It’s interesting (only a bit too long), and I recommend you watch it if you’re going there!
Clonmacnoise is one of the oldest monastic sites in Ireland and was founded by St Ciaran in 548-549. You’ll find here several old churches, a round tower, and lots of grave slabs and high crosses. All those crosses and graves look really impressive. Unfortunately the so-called cathedral, build 909, is renovated right now so that you can’t see much of it.
There’s also a small museum with an audio-visual show (see my other tip).
Open from around 10:00 to 18:00, depending on season, so better check the current times before you go there.
Admission: adults 5 Euro, children/students 2 Euro. If you have a Heritage Card (costs 20 Euro), admission is free.
A UNIQUE RAIL JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY IN ANCIENT BOGLAND....
Journey to the heart of BLACKWATER BOG in Co OFFALY.
Travel by rail for 9 kms. in a specially designed rail coach......
Learn about the past, present & future uses of the area....
This place is an industrial bog where milled peat is harvested for the generation of electricity.
Stop off along the route and see a demonstration of the traditional method of turf-cutting.
Get to know more about flora, fauna and archaeology of the area.
This is a lovely discovery trip and although it all sounds a BIT PEATY......I was there and it was really interesting and enjoyable!
There are so many crosses in the cemetary all of different shapes and sizes. The decor of the crosses are also all different which makes for excellent photography.
There is a huge cemetary with many different crosses to be seen here all dating back to 10th - 13th century.
The Cross of the Scriptures (c.900 AD), this photo is of the original one that is on display at the visitor centre.
This is a replicate of the Cross of the Scriptures that stands at the west front of Cathedral, both c.900
Temple Connor dates back to c.1200 and is closest building situated on the banks of the River Shannon at Clonmacnoise
pictured is one of three temples next to the cathedral. the temple hurpan was built in the 17th century as a family crypt. the temples dowling and mclaghlin date back to the 13th century.
pictured is an ancient grave slab in the clonmacnoise museum. the museum is located in the clonmacnoise visitor center.