35 Monuments to explore in Ireland
A country in the north-western Europe. Ireland, or Republic of Ireland shares its only border with Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. It is surrounded by the ocean in all it's other sides. About 40% of the countries 5 million population lives in the greater city area of Dublin.
Athenry Heritage Centre is the ideal starting point to discover the best preserved medieval town in Ireland. Its exhibits include the torture dungeon, models of the medieval town, storyboards and a replica street of medieval crafts. You can experience this history with interactive exhibits of weaponry, armour, dressing up in medieval costume and Have-A-Go Archery.
Athgreany is a picturesque circle of 16 grey granite stones and an outlier. Some of these pillars and boulders are up to two meters high and enclose an area of about twenty two meters across. Now the site is composed of 16 granite boulders, with 5 remaining in their original placements.
It is classified as a portal tomb by archaeologists and there are approximately 174 of these monuments in the country. The tombs generally consist of two large portal-stones defining the entrance and a back-stone, all of which support the cap-stone. The tomb is listed as a National Monument. Known as the Kernanstown Cromlech, sometimes spelled as Browneshill Dolmen, it is sited on the former estate house of the Browne family from which it takes its name.
This National Monument, is a well-preserved 15th century Norman tower house with a round gate tower, situated in the parish of Burnchurch, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is said to have been built and owned by the Fitzgeralds of the house of Desmond in 15th century and continued to be occupied until 1817.It is known for being one of several Irish towers with the slightly narrower sides of the castle extending up an additional floor, creating in essence a pair of tower wide turrets.
A well preserved ceremonial circle stands four and half km south of Donard village in Castleruddery Lower. This site consists of an inner circle of twenty nine large stones, some standing erect, others lying surrounded by a flat earthen bank. Two extremely large quartz boulders on the eastern side, possibly mark the entrance. Locally, the circle is thought to have special healing properties.
This is a medieval ecclesiastical site and National Monument located in County Kerry, Ireland. It is traditionally associated with Saint Brendan (c. AD 484 – c. 577), but also with a local saint, Maolcethair. The surviving church dates to the mid-12th century, with the chancel extended c. 1200.
Clochafarmore is a menhir and National Monument in County Louth, Ireland. It is located 1.4 km east-northeast of Knockbridge, Dundalk on the left bank of the River Fane. This standing stone is traditionally associated with the death of the legendary hero Cúchulainn. Lugaid mac Con Roí has three magical spears made, and it is prophesied that a king will fall by each of them.
This sixth century monastic site, located on the banks of the River Shannon is home to three high crosses, a cathedral, seven churches and two round towers. This great monastery was founded in 548- 9 by St. Ciarán Mac a tSaor. It became a great centre of religion and learning, visited by scholars from all over the world. Many historical manuscripts, including the 11th-century Annals of Tighernach and the 12th-century Book of the Dun Cow, were written here.
The Connolly's Folly is an obelisk structure and National Monument located between Leixlip and Maynooth in County Kildare, Ireland. The folly was built just outside Castletown Estate, which contains two follies, both commissioned by Katherine Conolly, the philanthropic widow of Speaker William Conolly
The Daniel O’Connell statue in Dublin is widely regarded as one of the finest pieces of work by John Henry Foley. This monument was designed and sculpted by John Henry Foley and finished up by his assistant, Thomas Brock. It is often believed to be Foley’s greatest work. Situated on the south side of O’Connell Street, the monument consists of three bronze sections separated by a granite plinth.
Derreenataggart Stone Circle is about 1.5km west of Castletown Bere, close to the road and open to the public. It is about 8m in diameter and twelve stones of a probable fifteen survive. Thirty metres south-west of the circle, site CO115-011001 is "a raised sub-circular area of rough ground with a recent rectangular depression at its western edge".
Dún Conor is a stone ringfort and National Monument located on Inishmaan, Ireland, measuring about 69 m N-S and 35 m E-W; although smaller than Dún Aengus, it has thicker walls, up to 6 m in places. The fort is believed to date back to the first or second millennium BC.
Drombeg Stone Circle is a circle of 17 standing stones which on excavation showed that there had been an urn burial in the centre. Although not an especially significant example, Drombeg is one of the most visited megalithic sites in Ireland, and is protected under the National Monuments Act.
Drumanone is a large dolmen with 6-1/2 foot portal stones and a 6-1/2 foot doorstone. The capstone, which has slipped to cover the chamber, is almost 15 feet long and almost 10 feet wide. The sides of the chamber are each composed of a single stone. It has been estimated that the tomb was built prior to 2000 B.C.
The Famine Monument, which is located opposite The Harp Tavern in Quay Street, and was erected here in July 1997 in memory of all those who died and suffered during the famine. The monument depicts a family in the depths of despair, starving and with no hope for the future, yet the child, a young girl can be seen pointing towards the ships, one of which would carry them to a new life in America or Canada.
The Gaulstown Dolmen dates to c.3000-4000 BC and is regarded as one of the finest portal tombs in Ireland. The east-facing portal stones stand eight feet high and the capstone is 14-feet long and possibly weighs over 40 tonnes. It is likely that the structure was once enclosed by a mound or cairn, which has since been removed or eroded away. There is evidence that some of the upright stones may have moved over time, as the shape of the chamber has been impacted.
The Graves of the Leinstermen has arguably the most evocative name of all the sites in the Adopt a Monument Scheme. Mystery surrounds this megalithic monument on the slopes of the Arra Mountains overlooking Lough Derg in Co. Tipperary. The monument, however, is thought to date back to prehistory, with the general consensus being that it is some form of megalithic tomb.
Grianán of Aileach is probably the best known monument in Inishowen, County Donegal. Situated on a hilltop 250m above sea level the view from the stone fort of Aileach is breathtaking. Although the hill is comparatively not that high, the summit dominates the neighbouring counties of Derry, Donegal and Tyrone. Located at the edge of the Inishowen peninsula.
This was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland – 142 kings are said to have reigned there in prehistoric and historic times. As Christianity achieved dominance over the following centuries, Tara’s importance became symbolic. Its halls and palaces have now disappeared and only earthworks remain. Tara forms part of a larger ancient landscape and Tara itself is a protected national monument under the care of the Office of Public Works, an agency of the Irish Government.
Killone is a National Monument situated in a secluded and picturesque valley on the shore of Killone Lake, near Ennis Co. Clare. The ruins of the abbey, accessible through land used for grazing cattle, are located in the grounds of Newhall House, and include substantial remains of the abbey church together with a crypt.