A 12th Century High Cross presides over more than a thousand years of history in the rolling hills and meadows of County Clare near the village of Corofin.
In the background is the Dysert O’Dea church, built on the site of an early Christian monastery founded by Saint Tola in the 8th Century.
This site is one of the highlights of a visit to the Clare Archaeology Centre, which features 25 monuments and points of interest dating back to 1000 BC.
While Conor O’Dea is believed to have substantially rebuilt the cross and the church in 1683, many of the older features of the building as well as the adjacent Round Tower date from the 11th Century.
The church ruins include an elegantly carved “illuminated” Romanesque Doorway, a Medieval reconstruction of a doorway from the 12th Century church.
Carvings on this arched entrance include human and animal heads, chevrons and scalloped arches.
Next to the church are the ruins of the Round Tower and a graveyard, still in use, with views of Dysert O’Dea castle in the distance.
If you’re interested in Irish History, this definitely is a place to put on your boots and spend the day hiking around its four kilometers of trails.