Places to visit:
- Round Tower
- The Canal Stores
- St Tiernach's Grave
- The Abbey
- The Diamond
- The Celtic Cross
- Motte and Bailey Fort
- Wesley Methodist Church -
The Famine and Clones Workshouse Graveyard
- Ulster Canal trail
Clones Town (Cluain Eois meaning Eos's Meadow) began as a monastic settlement c. 500. St Tiernach founded his monastery here and this was the most important site in Monaghan for centuries afterwards. The Round tower, cross and church all belong to this period of Clones' history. Clones has many buildings and sites of historical interest. The Diamond is dominated by the Church of Ireland and an early 9/10th Century High Cross. Other buildings of note in and around the town include the Presbyterian Church, and the ruins of John Wesley's Methodist Church. The Round Tower is 75 feet with square headed doors and windows. 'St Tiernach's shrine' which is carved out of stone is located in the graveyard next to Round Tower. The High Cross located on the Diamond in Clones which was originally in two parts did not belong together. One side depicts the sacrifice of Isaac, Daniel in the lions' Den and Adam and Eve. The opposite side features the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the wedding feast at Canal and the adoration of the Magi. The other sides are decorated with geometric symbols. The cross is believed to originate from the 9th century. Dating back to earlier times, the ruins of a motte and bailey fort can still be seen. Nearby, a 12th Century Abbey, known locally as the 'wee abbey' has the unusual feature of a Celtic Cross sculpted in relief on the Northern Wall. On the same site the sarcophagus of St. Tiernach, a 6th century Abbot lies beside Clones Round Tower.
Celtic Cross This cross, situated on the diamond (in the centre of the town) belongs to the Ulster group of scripture crosses, and dates from the 9th or 10th century. The panels on the front of it illustrate scenes from scripture - Daniel in the lion's den, Abrahams sacrifice of Issac, Adam and the tree and the serpent. On the reverse side, new testament scenes are illustrated. The multiplication of the loaves, the miracle at Cana, the baptism of Christ. Motte & Bailey This is the earliest man-made structure around the town. It dates back to pre-christian times. It was the residence of local chieftains or leaders of large wealthy farmers. Hill tops were used because they afforded security from enemies or wild animals - also, the lowlands were subject to flooding. When the normans invaded ireland in 1169, they built a castle on the fort. This was a Motte & Bailey castle. The Irish chieftains attacked the castle and burned it down.
The Round Tower This was built about the 9th century as a place of storage. Later during the Viking invasion from 795 - 1014, it was a place of refuge into which the monks could retreat in times of danger. The tower was originally about 90 ft high and had a conical cap. It contained 4 storeys, and on the top storey there were 4 windows. The door was about 8 feet above the ground. The conical cap and top storey fell some time between 1591 and 1739. Some further historical background on the round towers of Ireland is available. Sarcophagus (St. Tiarnach's grave) This is a stone version of the ridge-roofed reliquary coffin in which the deads person's bones were placed. It was a solid block of stone that stood above the grave. The eastern head has a carved mitred head, and the western end has carved animal heads. It was constructed in the 8th or 9th century. Most often, the founder of monasteries was buried in the most important one, or possibly the monastery in which he died. As Clones was such, this is likely St. Tiarnach's grave.
The Abbey This building was referred to locally as the "wee abbey". It dates from the 12th century. The round headed window is interesting, the head of which was cut out of a sinle stone. On the northern wall there is a small celtic cross sculptured in relief on a stone. Parochial and monastic settlements were separated and it seems likely that the building became the abbey of St. Peter and Paul. Upcoming Events Visitor Information Map of area Fermanagh Street Clones Co. Monaghan Company registration details: Location from Dublin/Belfast