national monuments

Castledermot, co.Kildare. c.10th Round Tower, c.9th Crosses and c.12th Friary

The small town of Castledermot in south Kildare 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 including the remains [...]

Clonmines Medieval Borough, Wellington Bridge. co.Wexford c.13th-16th centuries

This interesting site is one of the best preserved and much over-looked medieval towns in Ireland. Clonmines probably began it's life as a Norman settlement established by William Marshall in the 13th century as an [...]

Ninch Barrow Mound, Laytown. co.Meath c.400 a.d?

This mound located on the right hand side of the road between Julianstown and Laytown stands nearly 20 feet high and is 75 feet in diameter. It sits beside a modern bungalow and resembles a [...]

Murrisk Abbey, Murrisk. co.Mayo 1457

Murrisk Abbey 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 Patrick Mountain close to the sea overlooking [...]

The National Famine Memorial, Murrisk. co.Mayo 1997

The National Famine Memorial is located in Murrisk in co. Mayo at the foot of Croagh Patrick and commands panoramic views over the landscape of Clew Bay. This striking sculpture was crafted by John Behan [...]

Roscrea Castle 1281 & Damer House 1730, Rosscrea. co.Tipperary

The original motte and bailey fortification on this site was built in 1213 and was known as King John's Castle. It was not until 1281 that the castle was built with stone under the direction [...]

Gaulstown Dolmen, Gaulstown. co.Waterford. c.4000 b.c

The Gaulstown Portal Tomb is one of the finest dolmens in Ireland and was probably erected between 4000 - 3500b.c. It's name is derived from the name of the townland and is situated at the foot of [...]

Charles Fort, Kinsale. co.Cork 1682

Charles Fort is located on the hillside entrance of the harbour overlooking the picturesque town of Kinsale. It is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort and one of the largest military installations in the [...]

Skellig Michael, Kerry. 6th-12th centuries (Sceilig Mhichíl- ‘Michael’s Rock in the Sea’)

This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is the early Christian monastery of Skellig Michael. It is located 13 km off the Kerry coastline at an altitude of 600 feet and is one of the most dramatic [...]

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Carrowmore. co.Sligo 4600>1000 b.c

Carrowmore is the largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland and amongst the oldest in Europe. It is believed that there may have been over 100 monuments on this site but only 30 have survived as the [...]

Delvin Castle, Delvin. co.Westmeath c.1310

Located in the middle of Delvin village are the remains of Delvin Castle. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers at each corner, [...]

Ballinafad Castle, Ballinafad. co.Sligo 1590

Ballinafad Castle 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 location that controlled the Red Earl's Road through the [...]

Musseden Temple, Downhill. co.Derry 1785

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 [...]

Taghadoe Round Tower, Taghadoe. co.Kildare c.10th Century

Taghadoe 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 monastery here. Little is known of it except [...]

Burrishoole Friary, Newport. co.Mayo 1470

Burrishoole Friary, now a national monument, was founded in 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough. De Burgo was an ancestor of Risdeárd an Iarainn Bourke; Granuaile O'Malley's second husband, who originally owned the nearby [...]

Inch Abbey, Downpatrick. co. Down 1177

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 [...]

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin City – founded c.1028

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 [...]

Fore Abbey, Fore. co. Westmeath 1180

The beautiful Fore Abbey was founded in 1180 by the Norman, Hugh de Lacy and is one of the best preserved Benedictine Abbeys in Ireland. The original church on this site was founded 500 years [...]

Athcarne Cross, Balrath. co. Meath c.1675

The Athcarne Cross is located close to the historic village of Duleek, County Meath, Ireland. This national monument was erected circa 1675 as a memorial to Sir Luke Bathe and his wife, Dame Cecilia Dowdall, [...]

Doon Fort, Portnoo. co. Donegal. c.500 a.d

Doon Fort is an ancient ring fort hidden away on Doon Lough near the coastal village of Portnoo. It was built as a place of refuge 1500 years ago and it's walls stand 4.8m high [...]

Kilclooney Dolmen, Kilclooney. co. Donegal c.3500 b.c.

The beautiful Kilclooney Dolmen 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, 20 feet long and [...]

Trim Castle, Trim. co. Meath – 1176 (Baile Átha Troim-Town at the ford of elderflowers)

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 [...]

Kilmashogue Wedge Tomb. Kilmashogue. co. Dublin. c.2000 b.c

The Kilmashogue Wedge Tomb is located half way up the Dublin Mountains near the car park of the Kilmashogue Recreation Area. The tomb dates from about 2000 b.c and would have originally been much larger [...]

Florence Court, Enniskillen. co.Fermanagh 1755

Florence Court was the former home of 'The Earls of Enniskillene' and is regarded as one of the great houses of Ireland and a fascinating example of mid-18th century Irish Palladian architecture. It was built [...]

Site of The Battle of the Boyne, Oldbridge. co.Meath – 1690

This is the location where The Battle of the Boyne took place between King William of Orange and his father-in-law, King James II. It was was fought on 1 July 1690 (11 July according to [...]

Donegal Castle, Donegal Town. co.Donegal -1474

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

Monea Castle, Monea. co.Fermanagh – 1618

Monea Castle was built in 1618 by Rev. Malcom Hamilton and is one of the best preserved Scottish styled plantation castles in Northern Ireland. It's two massive semi-cylindrical towers sit on either side of the [...]

Tully Castle, Derrygonnelly. co.Fermanagh -1612

Tully Castle was built in 1612 for a Scottish planter called sir John Hume and has a bloody history. It is a fortified tower house with 4 rectangular corner towers and is located on a [...]

St Mura’s Cross, Fahan. co.Donegal 7th century a.d

St Mura's Cross is located in the ancient monastery of Fahan. These rare 'slab' type crosses are generally believed to be the precursor to the typical Celtic Irish High Crosses that people associate with Ireland. [...]

Clontygora Court Tomb, Flagstaff. co. Armagh c.3500 b.c

The Clontygora Court Tomb is one of the finest burial chambers in Northern Ireland. It is locally known as the “King’s Ring” and is situated on a prominent hillside in South Armagh. It it is Y [...]

Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone, Jonesborough. co. Armagh c.700 a.d

The Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone is one of the earliest datable stone monuments in Ireland. It stands 2 metres tall in a field near the village of Jonesborough in co. Armagh. The ogham script on the [...]

Newgrange, Donore. co.Meath 3200 b.c

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is Newgrange, the 'Mother Ship' of all Irish ancient monuments. It is part of a complex of at least 35 similar type monuments built along a bend of the River [...]

Dunsoghly Castle, St.Margarets. co.Dublin c.1450

This national monument is the impressive Dunsoghly Castle located only about 2 miles from the runway of Dublin Airport. It is one of the few 15th century fortified tower houses in Ireland to have survived intact. [...]

Duleek Church, Duleek. co.Meath c.6th or c.7th century a.d

The historic village of Duleek began as an early Christian monastic settlement and has the earliest record of a stone built church in the country. St Patrick established a bishopric here in about 450 [...]

The Round Tower of St Mary’s Abbey, Ferns. co. Wexford c.12th century

This is the 60 foot Round Tower of St Mary's Abbey in Ferns. The first church at this location was founded in the 7th century by St Aidan and later became vulnerable to Viking attacks in [...]

Swords Round Tower & Belfrey, Swords. co. Dublin – c.10th-14th a.d. (Sord-‘clear or pure’)

The 10th century Swords Round Tower is 26 m high and is instantly recognizable from it's crumbling windows and collapsed cap. The tower also possesses a stone cross at it's apex, something that is shared [...]

Swords Castle, Swords. co.Dublin c.1200 (Sord-‘clear or pure’)

In 1181 John Comyn succeeded Laurence O'Toole as the 1st Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin and it appears that he chose Swords as his chief residence. This castle was built as his manorial residence and was [...]

St Bridget’s Cathedral, Kildare Town. co.Kildare – 1230

St Bridget's Cathedral was built on top of the same site that St Brigid founded her nunnery in the 5th century a.d. It is believed that Brigid’s mother was kidnapped by Irish pirates from Portugal [...]

The Beaghmore Stone Circles, Cookstown. co. Tyrone – 2900 b.c > 1200 b.c

The mysterious and desolate Beaghmore Stone Circles were discovered by local peat cutters in the 1940s in the mountains near Cookstown in co. Tyrone. The site is made up of 7 large stone circles and [...]

The Rock of Cashel, Cashel. co.Tipperary 11th-14th centuries (Caiseal / Rock of the Kings)

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 [...]

Castle Roche, Crossroads. co. Louth -1236

Castle Roche is one of the most striking Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. It was built in 1236 by the De Verdun family and it's location commands extensive views of the countryside all around. The steep [...]

Cúchulainn’s Stone (Clochafarmore), Knockbridge. co.Louth 500 b.c>500 a.d

According to legend, the mortally wounded Cúchulainn bound himself to this 10 foot pillar stone, so he could stand tall and face his enemies until the moment of his death. These did not dare approach [...]

Portumna Castle, Portumna. co. Galway 1618

Portumna Castle is a very interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house and the neoclassical large country manor. It was built in 1618 on the banks of Lough [...]

Gallarus Oratory, Gallarus. co. Kerry c.6th -12th century a.d?

The Gallarus Oratory located on the Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland's most famous landmarks. It's simple and stunning shape has been compared to that of an upturned boat. Every stone in it's construction has [...]

Fourknocks Passage Tomb, co. Meath – c.3000 b.c

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

Ballybrack Dolmen, Ballybrack. co.Dublin – 2500 b.c

The Ballybrack Dolmen is oddly located in the middle of a housing estate in south county Dublin. The granite capstone which has beautiful shiny quartz through it measures 1.5m X 1.5m and weighs approx 12 [...]

Hore Abbey, Cashel. co.Tipperary – founded 1266 (Hore/Liubhair – Yew Tree)

Hore Abbey is located in a field on the west side of the Rock of Cashel and was originally founded by the Benedictine's in 1266. In 1272, David McCarvill, the Archbishop of 'The Rock' expelled [...]

The Market Cross, Kells. co.Meath – early 10th century

This is the famous 9th century 'Market Cross' of Kells that now stands outside Kells Courthouse. It was originally called the “Cross of the Gate” as it was located at the eastern side of the [...]

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