McCarthy’s Tower, the ruins of Temple Finghin and the mighty Shannon River beyond are framed by ruins of the Cathedral at Clonmacnoise, the 6th Century monastic site in County Offaly, Ireland.
Many years of history are represented here — these structures were built over a period of about 400 years, with some restoration since.
Original construction of the Cathedral began in 909. In 1198, the last High King of Ireland, Rory O’Connor, was buried near the Cathedral’s altar.
McCarthy’s Tower and Temple Finghin were built in the 12th Century and vandalized in the late 1800s.
The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland successfully pushed for the prosecution of an individual charged with vandalizing Temple Finghin in 1864, adding some judicial muscle to laws protecting ancient sites.