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43 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.

Annadorn Dolmen
Annadorn DolmenJunction of Bucks Head Rd and Loughinisland Rd,, Downpatrick BT30 8JW, UK

The Annadorn Dolmen is an imposing dolmen from Down County, more precisely located near Loughinisland. Built on a mound overlooking the Loughinisland Churches, this dolmen is said to date from the Neolithic period, and is today classified as a Historic Monument . To see: it is really worth the detour.

Athenry Heritage Centre
Athenry Heritage CentreSt. Marys, The Square, Gorteenacra, Athenry, Co. Galway, H65 WC57, Ireland

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 Stone Circle
Athgreany Stone CircleAthgreany, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

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.

Brownshill Portal Tomb (Dolmen)
Brownshill Portal Tomb (Dolmen)Hackettstown, Hacketstown Rd, Ballynakillbeg, Carlow, Ireland

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.

Burnchurch Castle
Burnchurch CastleUnnamed Road, Co., Burnchurch, Kilkenny, Ireland

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.

Castleruddery Stone Circle
Castleruddery Stone CircleCastleruddery Upper, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

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.

Cill Maoilchéadair
Cill MaoilchéadairKilmalkedar, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland

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 Standing Stone (Chúchalainn's Stone)

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.

ClonmacnoiseClonmacnoise, Co. Offaly, Ireland

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.

Cole's Monument
Cole's Monument42 Forthill Rd, Enniskillen BT74 6AW, UK

Cole’s Monument stands in the grounds of the Forthill Park; a beautiful five & a half acre wooded park in Enniskillen. The monument was built in the centre of the park in memory of the late General the Hon. Sir G. Lowry Cole from 1845-57. The monument takes the form of a Doric column, topped by a statue of General the Honourable Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole.

Connolly's Folly
Connolly's FollyBarrogstown West, Co. Kildare, Ireland

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

Daniel O'Connell Monument
Daniel O'Connell MonumentO'Connell Street, Clonroad Beg, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

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
Derreenataggart Stone CircleDerreenataggart West, Co. Cork, Ireland

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".

DoonconorCarrownlisheen, Co. Galway, Ireland

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
Drombeg Stone CircleDrombeg, Glandore, Co. Cork, Ireland

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 Portal Tomb
Drumanone Portal TombTinacarra, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

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.

Drumena Cashel
Drumena Cashel7 Moneyscalp Rd, Kilcoo, Newry BT34 5JX, UK

Drumena Cashel is a small stone built farmstead enclosure or cashel of the early Christian period. Measuring approximately 130 feet by 108 feet, this oval cashel has 10 foot thick walls that have been partially rebuilt. In the center if the cashel are the foundation remains of a dwelling. The most notable feature of the site, however, is the T-shaped souterrain that has two separate entrances.

Famine Memorial
Famine MemorialRathquarter, Sligo, Ireland

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.

Gaulstown Dolmen
Gaulstown DolmenGahan, Gaulstown, Butlerstown, Co. Waterford, X91 DXR6, Ireland

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.

Graves of the Leinstermen
Graves of the LeinstermenCoolbaun, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

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.

Map of Monuments to explore in Ireland