The small churches at Clonmacnoise are called temples, a derivation of the Irish word teampall (church). Tiny Temple Ciaran is reputed to be the burial place of St Ciarán, the site's founder. Its floor level is lower than outside because local farmers have been taking clay from the church for centuries to protect their crops and cattle. The floor has been covered in slabs, but handfuls of clay are still removed from outside the church in the early spring.
Nearby The Midlands attractions
1. Temple Kelly
Only scant foundations remain of Temple Kelly, which dates from 1167.
Gloriously placed overlooking the River Shannon, 7km northeast of Shannonbridge, Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland’s most important ancient monastic cities…
3. Temple Melaghlin
This 12th-century historic site has Romanesque Gothic transitional windows that are unique to Ireland. It's also known as the Kings' Church, as seven…
The largest building at Clonmacnoise, the cathedral was originally built in AD 909, but was significantly altered and remodelled over the centuries. Its…
5. Temple Hurpan
The remains of an 18th-century temple that is the larger stylistic twin of nearby Temple Doolin.
6. Temple Doolin
These remains of an 11th-century temple are similar to nearby Temple Hurpan.
7. Temple Connor
Temple Connor originally dates from the 11th century but has many later features, including a quite modern roof; services are still held here. As it has…
8. Replica North Cross
The original North Cross is inside the Clonmacnoise Visitor Centre.