Saints and Stones: Clonard (Cluain Eraird)

Clonard was an early Christian monastery founded ca.520 A.D. by St. Finnian (also spelled Finian) who constructed a single cell on a site near the River Boyne. St. Finnian of Clonard should not be confused with another St. Finnian, who founded another famous monastery and school of learning in Movilla in Ulster.

St. Finnian was buried on the site after his death in about 549 A.D. During the 6th Century, some of the most significant names in the history of Irish Christianity (who would go on to be known as the "Twelve Apostles of Ireland") studied at the School of Clonard including St. Ciaran of Clonmacnois, St. Brendan the Navigator of Clonfert, and St. Columba of Iona, among others. It is said that the average number of scholars under instruction at Clonard was 3,000.

From the 8th Century onwards, Clonard came under the control of various rival political dynasties, and by the mid-9th Century, it was the leading church of the Irish midlands. Like many monastic sites in Ireland, Clonard suffered heavy losses under the Viking raids of the 9th-11th Centuries. It fell into decline during the 12th Century.

The old Church of St Finnian, closed to public worship in 1991, is believed to be constructed on the original monastic site.

About Clonard Clonard (Cluain Eraird)

Monastic Ireland: Clonard
Wikipedia: Clonard Abbey
Wikipedia: Statues of St. Finnian of Clonard
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: School of Clonard
Wikipedia: Finnian of Clonard
Monastic Ireland: St. Finnian
Wikipedia: The Twelve Apostles of Ireland

Journey to Clonard Clonard (Cluain Eraird)

Clonard is a small village on the N4 national primary route around 40 miles east of the center of Dublin. The site of St. Finnian's monastery is on a minor road north of the village.

Map Reference: N6518044906

Visitors Information

Visitors information for Clonard may be found at the County Meath Tourism: Clonard Heritage Trail website pages. General tourist information for the area may be found the County Meath Tourism website.

Additional Photos of Clonard (Cluain Eraird)

Site of St. Finnian's Monastic School, Clonard
Disused Church of St. Finnian at the Monastic Site of Clonard
Rear of Disused Church of St. Finnian at the Monastic Site of Clonard
Sign Commemorating St. Colmcille (Columba), Clonard
Sign for The Trough, Clonard
The Trough, Clonard
Sign for Ard Na Reilige, Clonard
Location Ard Na Reilige, Clonard
Sign for St. Finnian's Well, Clonard
Location of St. Finnian's Well, Clonard
Statue of St. Finnian, Clonard
Base of St. Finnian Statue, Clonard
Base of St. Finnian Statue, Clonard
Close-Up of Statue of St. Finnian, Clonard

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