The monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning "Meadow of the Sons of Nós") was founded in 545 by Saint Ciaran (Kieran) at the point where the major Irish east-west land route crossed the River Shannon.
Saint Ciaran had been educated by Saint Finnian at Clonard. Leaving Clonard, he went to be with St. Enda on the Aran Islands and then to Iniscathay (Scattery Island) to be with St. Senan. He founded his first church at Inis Aingin (Hare Island) on Lough Ree, leaving it three years later to found another church before founding Clonmacnoise with the help of King Diarmuid. A year later, St. Ciaran died of the plague. He was in his early 30s at the time of his death. He was succeeded by Oenna, one of the men he converted at Inis Aingin.
From the 7th to the 12th Century, Clonmacnois was one of the premier monastic schools in Ireland. Students by the thousands came to study there, not only from Ireland, but also from England and France. Among the many ruins at Clonmacnoise, there are a number of churches (called Temples), including Temple Ciaran, the reputed burial site of the saint. Also a number of high crosses may be seen. The originals are in the Museum, while replicas are outside on the grounds. Also in the museum are grave slabs from the 7th to the 12th Century.
Heritage Ireland: Clonmacnoise
Journey to Clonmacnoise
Clonmacnoise is south of Athlone off the R444 road near the River Shannon and northeast of the town of Shannonbridge in County Offaly , Ireland.
Irish Antiquities: Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
Ciaran of Clonmacnoise
of St. Ciaran
Ordnance Survey Map (N010307)
Visitors information for Clonmacnoise may be found at the geograph.ie website. General tourist information may be found at the County Offaly Tourism website.
Additional Photos of Clonmacnoise
View of Clonmacnoise
Round Tower at Clonmacnoise
Temple Dowling at Clonmacnoise
Temple Connor and Temple Finghin at Clonmacnoise
Cross of the Scriptures (replica) at Clonmacnoise
Temple Melaghlin at Clonmacnoise
Cathedral Doorway at Clonmacnoise
Temple Ciaran at Clonmacnoise
Entrance to Temple Ciaran at Clonmacnoise
Burial Slab in Temple Ciaran at Clonmacnoise
South Cross (original) in Museum at Clonmacnoise
Grave Slab in Museum at Clonmacnoise
River Shannon near Clonmacnoise