National Monuments

National Monuments

The only sculptured 15th century high altar to survive in Ireland

Sligo Abbey, located in Sligo Town, was built by Maurice Fitzgerald for the Dominicans in 1252. The site contains a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture, well preserved cloisters and the [...]

World famous gardens, Friendly seals & An island paradise

Garinish Island also known as 'Ilnacullin' or 'Island of Holly' is located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay in west Cork. The micro climate in this bay is caused by the warmer currents [...]

A castle to rival Balmoral in a spectacular location, Marilyn Monroe and Evictions

Glenveagh Castle is located in the stunning Glenveagh National Park in co.Donegal. It was built between 1867 and 1873 by Captain John Adair who tried to recreate a castle retreat better than Balmoral. He was also responsible [...]

An ancient passage tomb with some of the finest vistas in Ireland

Seefin Passage Tomb is located on a hilltop 1700 feet above sea level near Kilbride in county Wicklow. This national monument dates to somewhere between 3300 to 3000 b.c. The tomb's name in Irish 'Suidh [...]

Site of the earliest known Irish Parliament & The oldest intact stone window in Western Europe

Castledermot, co.Kildare packs a punch for historical buildings. This small town takes it's name from 'Diseart Diarmad' meaning 'Dermot's Hermitage'. It must have been a very important ecclesiastical centre as there are many fine ruins [...]

Ireland’s best preserved medieval banqueting hall – party time!

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Desmond Hall located in Newcastle West. co.Limerick. It was built between the 13th & 15th centuries. This area preserves many of Ireland's surviving medieval halls which were used by the Earls [...]

One of the largest, tallest and most spectacular dolmens in Ireland

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is the Kilmogue or 'Harristown' dolmen. It was constructed between c.3000-4000 b.c and is located near the village of Mullinvat in co. Kilkenny. It's name 'Kilmogue' derives from 'Mog's Church' referring to the [...]

Norman Motte or Passage Tomb ?

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Ninch Barrow Mound located in Laytown. co.Meath. It possibly dates from approx c.400 a.d and stands nearly 20 feet high with a diameter of 75 feet. It resembles a Norman motte [...]

The ancient starting point for pilgrims for climbing Croke Patrick

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Murrisk Abbey in co.Mayo. It was founded 1456 by the Augustinian Friars on the site of a former church reputedly founded by St Patrick. It is located near to foot of Croagh [...]

Attacked, Burnt and Destroyed – Everyone killed except one!

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Roscrea Castle built in 1281 & within the ground is Damer House built in 1730. The original motte and bailey fortification on this site was built in 1213 and was known [...]

One of Waterford’s most outstanding National Monuments

Knockeen Portal Dolmen located in Knockeen. co. Waterford dates from approx 4000-3000 b.c. This NATIONAL MONUMENT is one of Waterford's most outstanding and ranks among the finest portal tombs in Ireland. It stands in the middle of [...]

Historic cross on historic site of St Brigid – Ireland’s first Spice Girl

St Bridget's High Cross is located in Kildare Town. co.Kildare. It dates somewhere between the 9th to the 12th century and stands 9 feet tall in the grounds of St Bridget's Cathedral. The cross is [...]

Still standing after 6000 years

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is the Gaulstown Dolmen located in Gaulstown. co.Waterford. It dates to c.4000 - 3500 b.c and is regarded as one of the finest dolmens in Ireland. It's name is derived from the name [...]

One of Ireland’s largest castles and a battle scene in Excalibur

Cahir Castle located in the town of Cahir. co.Tipperary was built around 1142. This is NATIONAL MONUMENT IS one of Ireland's largest castles and is strategically located on an island on the River Suir. The word [...]

Killarney’s finest castle beside lakes, mountains and rivers

Ross Castle is located in a spectacular location on Ross Island by the shores of Lough Leane. It was built sometime in the late 15th century by the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains and was surrounded by [...]

Swiss Cottage, Cahir. co.Tipperary 1810

This national monument as is regarded as one of the finest examples of a 'cottage ornee' in Europe. These fantasy houses were popular with the gentry in the 19th century where they could play at [...]

The first, largest and most important Augustinian house in County Clare

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Clare Abbey founded in 1195. it is situated on an elevated site beside the Fergus River and was the first, largest and most important Augustinian house in County Clare. It was founded [...]

One of the largest and finest British military installations in Ireland

Charles Fort is located in a spectacular location over looking the Kinsale Bay in co.Cork. It was built in 1682. It is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort and one of the largest military [...]

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, extreme monasticism but don’t mention Star Wars!

Sceilig Mhichíl- 'Michael's Rock in the Sea' is an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located 13 km off the Kerry coastline at an altitude of 600 feet and is one of the most dramatic examples [...]

Finn McCool, standing stones, the finest ancient rock art and tomb of Queens

Knockmany Cairn & Annya's Tomb is located near the village of Augher. co.Tyrone and dates from between 3000 b.c>100 a.d. This super interesting site is located on a beautiful forested hilltop 700 feet above sea [...]

One of the ‘Big 4’ ancient passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is the Carrowkeel Neolithic Cemetery. It is located in Ballymote. co.Sligo and dates way back to c.3400 b.c. This mound on top of this desolate hilltop is one of 14 cairns forming [...]

The largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland and amongst the oldest in Europe dating back to 4600 b.c

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is located a few miles south of the town of Sligo. It is the largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland and amongst the oldest in Europe dating back to 4600 b.c. It is [...]

A Norman castle, The Nugents & An ancient trading route

Delvin Castle is located in the middle of Delvin village in county Westmeath. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers. It was built in 1310 [...]

A castle under constant attack, The Red Earl & A dodgy location!

Ballinafad Castle is located in Ballinafad in county Sligo. It was built in 1590 and is also known as the 'Castle of the Curlews'. It has had a turbulent history due to it's strategic (or [...]

One of Northern Ireland’s most iconic and photographed buildings is falling off a cliff

The Mussenden Temple was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey 'the Earl Bishop', Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol. It is perched dramatically on a 120 ft [...]

Norman or Irish ? Spanish Armada, Wolfe Tone and the O’Doherty Clan

This interesting little building is known locally as O'Doherty's Keep. It is located along the estuary of the Crana River in Swan Park, Buncrana co. Donegal. It's date of construction is unknown as it resembles a [...]

A strange mix of buildings on a former monastery dedicated to St Tua

Taghadoe Round Tower, Taghadoe. co.Kildare c.10th Century. This place derives its name from 'Teach Tua', meaning 'House of Tua'. St Tua, also known as Ultan the Silent, was the Abbot of Clonmacnoise who founded the [...]

Ireland’s last Hermit

The Anchorite Cell Chapel is located in Fore. co.Westmeath. This little church was built in 1830 and is known as The Anchorite Cell Chapel and is part of the Fore Abbey complex. The original church [...]

One of the great passage tombs of Ireland

Dowth, which means 'darkness', is one of the 3 principle passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site (The other 2 being Newgrange and Knowth). It dates from c.2500 b.c and shares a [...]

100 year old nuns attacked, stripped and beaten here

Burrishoole Friary is located in Newport. co.Mayo. It was founded in 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough and is now classified as a national monument. De Burgo was an ancestor of Risdeárd an Iarainn [...]

The first Gothic arch built in Ireland & Game of Thrones location

Inch Abbey was established as a Cistercian house by John de Courcy and his wife Affrica in 1177 as an act of repentance for the destruction of the Abbey at Erinagh. This State Care National [...]

Castle built on a location that’s been an important strategic site for thousands of years

White's Castle was built in 1417 by Sir John Talbot, Viceroy of Ireland, to protect the inhabitants of Athy from the 'wild Irish'. This location on the banks of the River Barrow has been an [...]

One of Ireland’s most historic Cathedrals, Lots of relics and a mummified cat & rat

Christ Church Cathedral, founded in c.1028 is one of the finest historical buildings in Ireland. Sitric Silkbeard, (the first Christian Danish king) built a wooden church here in c.1028 as this location was the most [...]

An ancient capital, the legend of Emain Macha and a Barbary Macaque

Navan Fort or 'Emain Macha' is located a couple of miles outside the Cathedral City of Armagh. It is one of Ireland's most important ancient monuments. According to mythology, this was one of the great [...]

A tomb surrounded by a stone circle with it’s original capstone

This National Monument is The Clogherny Wedge Tomb located near the village of Plumbridge in co. Tyrone. It dates from approx c.2500 b.c and sits in a sparse exposed glaciated valley. It still has it's large [...]

Time Team investigates this magnificent castle built by a renegade Norman

Dundrum Castle is located in a spectacular setting overlooking Dundrum Bay and the mighty Mourne Mountains. This site was chosen by John de Courcy sometime around 1172 following his invasion of Ulster. De Courcy was [...]

One of the best preserved Benedictine Abbeys in Ireland & the 7 wonders of Fore

The beautiful Fore Abbey is located in Fore, co. Westmeath. It was founded in 1180 by the Norman, Hugh de Lacy and is one of the best preserved Benedictine Abbeys in Ireland. The original church [...]

A unique cross embodying both Renaissance and Baroque influences

The Athcarne Cross is located in Balrath. co. Meath and dates from  c.1675.  This national monument was erected circa 1675 as a memorial to Sir Luke Bathe and his wife, Dame Cecilia Dowdall, who lived in the [...]

One of the best preserved 16th-century tower houses in Ireland

Narrow Water Castle is located in Warrenpoint. co.Down and dates from c.1560. It is regarded as one of the best preserved 16th-century tower houses in Ireland. This was originally the strategic site of a keep [...]

A 1500 year dry stone walled fort built on a lake

Doon Fort is an ancient ring fort hidden away on Doon Lough near the coastal village of Portnoo in co. Donegal. It dates from the 5th century a.d and was probably built as a place [...]

One of Ireland’s most beautiful and oldest portal tombs

The beautiful Kilclooney Dolmen located in Kilclooney co.Donegal dates from c 3500 b.c and is regarded as one of the finest examples of a portal tomb in the country. It's impressive capstone measures 13 wide, [...]

One of the few moated castles in Ireland

Drimnagh Castle in Drimnagh. co. Dublin was built in 1240. It is one of the few moated castles in Ireland. The original castle here was built around 1240 by a Norman Knight called Hugo de [...]

One of the finest early Georgian houses in Ireland containing the oldest piece of Waterford Glass

The Bishop’s Palace in Waterford City was built in 1741 to the designs of the famous architect Richard Cassells (Cassells other works include Westport House, Powercourt House and Russborough House). This was the site of [...]

Once converted into 3 tenements

Slade castle (1470) is located in the picturesque fishing village of Slade on the Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford. The original castle here was built by the Laffin family in the late 1400s. The Laffins [...]

The earliest stone castle to be built in Ireland and one the largest Norman castles in Europe

Trim Castle is not only the earliest stone castle to be built in Ireland but is also the largest Norman Castle in Europe. It was built in 1176 by Hugh de Lacy and his son [...]

Fought over by the Maguires, the O’Donnells, the O’Neills and the British

Enniskillen Castle in co. Fermanagh was built in the late 1400's at a strategic location on Lough Erne by Hugh 'The Hospitable' Maguire. Over the years it has been fought over, captured and retaken by the [...]

One of the finest and strongest Gaelic castles in Ireland

Donegal Castle located in Donegal Town was built by Hugh Roe O'Donnell in 1474. It is  regarded as one of the finest and strongest Gaelic castles in Ireland. It consists of a 15th-century rectangular keep [...]

One of the best preserved Scottish styled plantation castles in Northern Ireland

Monea Castle is located in the parish of Monea in co.Fermanagh. it was built in 1618 by Rev. Malcom Hamilton and is one of the best preserved Scottish styled plantation castles in Northern Ireland. It's [...]

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