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13 Monuments to explore in Leinster

Leinster

Leinster is one of the provinces of Ireland, situated in the southeast and east of Ireland. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has prompted further sub-division of the historic counties.

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.

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.

Clonmacnoise
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.

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

Hill of Tara
Hill of TaraCastleboy, Co. Meath, Ireland

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.

Leac an Scail, Kilmogue Dolmen
Leac an Scail, Kilmogue DolmenHarristown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland

Leac an Scail, is one of the tallest and most spectacular examples of a portal dolmen in Ireland, it is located near Knocktopher in County Kilkenny. It has been constructed using a large capstone resting on two large portal stones and a pillow stone resting on a backstone. It is now a visitor attraction and there are so many tourists arriving day by day.

Loughcrew Cairns
Loughcrew CairnsLoughcrew Cairns, Corstown, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland

The Loughcrew complex is a megalithic cemetery containing around 30 passage tombs and is situated around the summit of three hills near the town of Oldcastle, Co. Meath. There are four main types of tombs, each being named after a particular and defining feature. It is one of the four main passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland and is a protected National Monument. The area is also home to the Loughcrew Estate, from which it is named.

Mainistir Bhuithe
Mainistir BhuitheBawntaaffe, Monasterboice, Co. Louth, Ireland

Mainistir Bhuithe are the remains of an early Christian monastic settlement in County Louth in Ireland, north of Drogheda. The ruins are a National monument of Ireland and also give their name to the local village. The site includes the remains of two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower, but it is most famous for its high crosses.

Newgrange
Newgrange Rathmullan, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland

Newgrange is a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. It was built about 3,200 BC (5,200 years ago) during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. The site consists of a large circular mound with an inner stone passageway and chambers. Human bones and possible grave goods or votive offerings were found in these chambers. The mound has a retaining wall at the front, made mostly of white quartz cobblestones.

Slieve Na Calliagh
Slieve Na CalliaghSlieve Na Calliagh, Corstown, Co. Meath, Ireland

Slieve na Calliagh are a range of hills and ancient burial site near Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland. The summit is 276 metres, the highest point in the county. On the hilltops are about twenty passage tombs, some decorated with rare megalithic art, which were built in the 4th millennium BC. Also called the Loughcrew tombs, it is one of the main passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland, along with Brú na Bóinne, Carrowkeel and Carrowmore.

Map of Monuments to explore in Leinster