National Monuments

National Monuments

One of the finest burial chambers in Northern Ireland

Clontygora Court Tomb is located near Flagstaff in co. Armagh. it dates from approx c.3500 b.c and is  one of the finest burial chambers in Northern Ireland. It is locally known as the “King’s Ring” [...]

The earliest dateable stone monument in Ireland

Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone is located near Jonesborough in co. Armagh. it dates to 700 a.d and is one of the earliest datable stone monuments in Ireland. It stands 2 metres tall in a field and [...]

UNESCO World Heritage Site with the oldest clock in the World

Newgrange is by far the most famous of all Ireland's monuments. It is part of a complex of at least 35 similar type monuments built along a bend of the River Boyne known collectively as Brú [...]

The last original wooden roof of a castle to survive in Ireland

This national monument is the impressive Dunsoghly Castle located in St Margarets in north county Dublin. It is one of the few 15th century fortified tower houses in Ireland to have survived intact. It consists of [...]

St Columba, Brian Boru and a crumbling round tower

This c.10th round tower and c.14th belfrey are located in the town of Swords in north co.Dublin. The tower stands 26 m high and is instantly recognizable from it's crumbling windows and collapsed cap. It [...]

St Bridget, an art school and a hidden Sheela-Na-Gig

St Bridget's Cathedral is located in Kildare Town in county Kildare. It was built c.1230 on the same site that St Brigid founded her nunnery in the 5th century a.d. It is believed that Brigid’s [...]

Discovered in 1941, Dragons Teeth and 1269 standing stones

The mysterious Beaghmore Stone Circles are located near Cookstown in co. Tyrone, They date to approx 2900 b.c > 1200 b.c. The stones were uncovered by local peat cutters in the 1940s. It is made up [...]

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

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in Europe. The site includes St Cormac's beautiful Romanesque [...]

Our greatest mythological warrior tied and bound himself to this stone

Cúchulainn's Stone (Clochafarmore) is located near the village of Knockbridge in co.Louth. It dates from between 500 b.c - 500 a.d. According to legend, the mortally wounded Cúchulainn bound himself to this 10 foot pillar [...]

UNESCO World Heritage Site – Europe’s greatest collection of Megalithic Art in one location

Knowth is Ireland's most spectacular complex of prehistoric passage tombs. This World Heritage site dates from about 3000 b.c and is not only the largest of the three great passage tombs in the Boyne Valley [...]

A castle in transition – guns and flowerboxes

This National Monument is Portumna Castle located in Portumna co.Galway. It was built in 1618 and is regarded as a very interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house [...]

One of Ireland’s most iconic buildings

This National Monument is the Gallarus Oratory. It is located near Gallarus on the Dingle Peninsula in co. Kerry and is one of Ireland's most iconic buildings. It's simple and stunning shape has been compared [...]

A 5000 years old passage tomb with a smiley face inside

This national monument is the Fourknocks Passage Tomb located in county Meath. It dates to 3000 b.c and it's name may derive from the Irish word ‘Fuair Cnocs’ that translates to ‘cold hills’ or it just [...]

Europe’s largest capstone on a dolmen

This national monument is the Brownshill Portal Tomb located in Brownshill in co.Carlow. It is not only the largest example in Ireland but also in Europe with a capstone weighing in at an impressive 150 [...]

The World’s oldest field system buried beneath our feet

The Ceide Fields are located near Ballycastle in co.Mayo. The Céide Fields are the oldest known and most extensive stone age field systems in the world covering 1,500 hectares. This open air archaeological site is [...]

Paranoid dreams of killer monks, Benedictines and Yew trees

Hore Abbey is located in a beautiful setting underneath in a field under the watchful eye of the Rock of Cashel in co. Tipperary. It was founded in 1266 by the Benedictine's but it was [...]

A master sculptor, sanctuary and hanging rebels

The Market Cross is located outside the courthouse in Kells in co.Meath. This early 10th century cross  was originally called the “Cross of the Gate” as it was located at the eastern side of the [...]

Ireland’s most iconic dolmen & the hole of sorrows

The Poulnabrone Dolmen is located near the townland of Caherconnell in co.Clare. This national monument dates from approx 3600 b.c and it's timeless simplicity has made it one of the most photographed landmarks in Ireland. [...]

Strange carvings, Santiago de Compostella and a pilgrimage route

The Clonfinlough Stone is located near the village of Clonfinlough in co.Offaly. This national monument has mysterious carvings which may date from anytime between c.1000 b.c and 1400 a.d. The stone is 10 foot x [...]

One of Ireland’s most important ecclesiastical centres

The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centres. St Ciaran was a young preacher from Roscommon who in 545 a.d convinced the local [...]

William Marshall, a great storm and one of the richest Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland

The beautiful Tintern Abbey is located in Saltmills in co. Wexford. It was founded in c.1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord [...]

500 years older than Newgrange & the best kept archaeological secret in Ireland

Loughcrew dates from 3300 b.c and is one of our most important and impressive megalithic sites. 'Cairn T' is estimated to be 500 years older than Newgrange and is located on a hilltop at nearly 800 [...]

The second longest church in Ireland & the oldest structure in Kilkenny

This historic site contains two very remarkable buildings. The first National Monuments is St Canice's Cathedral, built between 1202 and 1285 and is the second longest cathedral in Ireland (after St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin) [...]

Home to the Butlers for nearly 600 years & one of the most visited castles in Ireland

Kilkenny Castle is located on a strategic site that commands a crossing on the River Nore in Kilkenny City. What you see today is a complex structure of various architectural styles built over 800 years. [...]

The oldest bell, tower and original features of any church in Dublin City

This National Monument is St Audeon's Church. It is located on High Street in Dublin City and dates from c.1190 a.d. It has the distinction of being the only medieval parish church, retaining any original [...]

The 2nd tallest High Cross in Ireland & a masterpiece of sculpture

Moone High Cross is located in Moone in co.Kildare. This national monument dates from the 10th century and is regarded as a masterpiece among granite crosses. It is the second tallest in Ireland standing approx [...]

The largest church in Ireland, the earliest Christian site, Handel’s Messiah and Cromwell

This National Monument is St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin City. This is the largest church in Ireland and is also reputed to be Ireland's earliest Christian site, where St. Patrick baptized converts. Unusually, Dublin has [...]

A former Norman Castle, The MacNamara’s, Cromwell and significant architectural features

Quin Abbey is located in the village of Quin in co.Clare. It dates from 1433 and was built on the site of an earlier monastery (which burned down in 1278) and soon after a Norman [...]

An Abbey with some of Ireland’s finest early architecture founded by a great King

Cong Abbey is located in Cong, co. Mayo. This national monument was founded on the former site of St Feichins Monastery by the great High King Turlough Mor O'Connor in 1135. The Abbey contains some [...]

A 10th century round tower with beautiful views

Meelick Round Tower is located in Swinford, co. Mayo. It was built between 923 and 1013 a.d on a monastic site attributed to St. Broccaidh and the area was once the principal abbey in the [...]

A short round tower on holy ground, St Patrick and The Pope

Turlough Round Tower stands on a hillside overlooking the gardens for the National Museum of Country Life. This national monument dates to the c.9th century and is odd looking as it has a lower and [...]

One of Ireland’s finest keeps with a turbulent history

Nenagh Castleis located in Nenagh in co.Tipperary. It was built c.1216 and was the main castle of the Butler family for 200 years before they moved to Gowran in co.Kilkenny. The family later splashed out [...]

One of the most beautiful complete ruins in Ireland & Kissing St Francis

The Askeaton Franciscan Friary is located in the village of Askeaton beside the River Deel in co.Limerick. This National Monument is one of the most beautiful complete ruins in the country. It was founded in [...]

The oldest and most beautiful building in Limerick City

This National Monument is St Mary's Cathedral. It is located on Bridge Street in Limerick City and dates back to 1168 making it the oldest building in Limerick City predating John's Castle. This was previously [...]

The Vikings, The O’Briens, dungeons and a no.1 tourist attraction

Bunratty Castle is located in the village of Bunratty in co.Clare. This is one of the most impressive castles and one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland. This was the location of a former [...]

A carefully chosen location for a Pirate Queen

Rockfleet Castle is located near Newport in co.Mayo. It dates from the mid 1500's and was the main stronghold of Grace O’Malley (c.1530- c. 1603) - The ‘Pirate Queen of the West’. This strategic location [...]

One of the best preserved medieval churches in Ireland

Adare Augustinian Friary is located in the historic village of Adare in co.Limerick. It was founded in 1316 and was formerly known as 'The Black Abbey' because of the black habits worn by the Augustinian [...]

Once regarded as the most beautiful city in Ireland, King John & A city under siege

King John's Castleis located in Limerick City. This was a a Viking stronghold in the 900's but the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1172 changed everything. In 1200, King John of England who was then [...]

The Athens of Ireland

The Rock of Dunamase is located in Dunamase in co.Laois. This is an ancient site and one of Ireland's most impressive locations for a castle as it sits on a limestone outcrop 150 feet above [...]

A Fir Bolg King, Lighting fires & A friary on a hill

The Friary on The Hill of Slane is located just outside the village of Slane in co.Meath. This historic location was reputedly the location where the Fir Bolg King 'Sláine' is buried and also where [...]

Ardee Castle, Ardee. co.Louth – 15th century a.d

This national monument is the largest fortified medieval tower house in Ireland. The original structure was founded by an Anglo-Norman lord called Roger de Peppard in 1207 although little remains of it. This 'current building' [...]

Carrowmore West Cross, Gleneely. co.Donegal. c.7th – 9th century a.d

The 2 crosses at Carrowmore are national monuments and are the most primitive looking of the 6 Inishowen High Crosses and almost resemble standing stones (which are dated much earlier). The site was called 'Both [...]

Carrowmore Cross East, Gleneely. co.Donegal – c.10th century a.d

6 High Crosses can be found on Inishowen. The 2 crosses located in Carrowmore are national monuments and are so primitive looking that they almost resemble standing stones.  The site was called 'Both Chonais Monastery' [...]

Carndonagh Cross, Carndonagh. co.Donegal – c.7th century a.d

This National Monument is one of the earliest and most important High Crosses in Ireland. High Crosses developed from slab crosses which as the name suggests were big slabs of granite with crosses carved onto [...]

Skreen Church. Hill of Skryne. co. Meath – 1341

Skreen Church is a national monument which stands on an elevated position on The Hill of Skryne. It was built in 1341 on the site of an earlier church which had a shrine dedicated to [...]

Bective Abbey, Bective. co.Meath – founded 1147

Bective Abbey is a national monument and was founded in 1147 by Murchad O Maeil-Sheachlainn, King of Meath, for the Cistercians. It was one of the earliest abbeys and is described as 'the daughter' of [...]

The Stone of Destiny, Hill of Tara. co. Meath – c.500 b.c

The Stone of Destiny otherwise known as the 'Lia Fail' is located on the inauguration mound on the Hill of Tara. It served as the coronation stone for thousands of years for the High Kings [...]

St John’s Priory, Trim. co.Meath – founded 1202 (Baile Átha Troim-town at the ford of Elderflowers)

These are the ruins of the Priory and The Hospital of St John the Baptist founded by Simon deRochfort in c. 1202. The Friary was occupied by a branch of monks called 'The Crutched Friars' [...]

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