Clonmacnoise Monastery

The monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning "Meadow of the Sons of Nós") is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone.

Clonmacnoise was founded in 545 by Saint Ciarán in the territory of Ui Maine at the point where the major east-west land route through the bogs of central Ireland along the Eiscir Riada, an esker or moraine left by the receding glaciers of the last ice age crossed the River Shannon. Saint Ciarán had been educated by St. Finnian of Clonard and also by Abbot St. Enda of Aran.

Shortly after his arrival with eight companions, Ciarán met Diarmait mac Cerbaill who helped him build the first church - a small wooden structure and the first of many small churches to be clustered on the site. Diarmuid was to claim the title of the first Christian High King of Ireland. Ciaran died about one year later of the yellow plague and was buried reputedly in the building now known as Temple Ciaran; he was in his early thirties.

The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, being visited by scholars from all over Europe. Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht and then until the 11th century it was alliance with the kings of Mide. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here. It was attacked frequently, by the Vikings, Anglo-Normans and other Irish forces.

The twenty closest neighbours in the database:

Boyne Valley: Newgrange, Knowth and Battle of the Boyne (108 km), Dublin (Ireland) (115 km), Killarney (Ireland) (174 km), Culzean Castle (307 km), Llangollen (United Kingdom) (324 km), Blackpool (United Kingdom) (330 km), Liverpool (United Kingdom) (332 km), Tintagel Castle (369 km), Ludlow Castle (369 km), Glasgow (Scotland) (370 km), Inveraray Castle (374 km), New Lanark (376 km), Manchester (United Kingdom) (382 km), St Michael's Mount (396 km), Eden Project (398 km), Falkirk Wheel (399 km), Stirling Castle (405 km), Doune Castle (406 km), Edinburgh (Scotland) (424 km), Chatsworth House (424 km)

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