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Monasterboice Monastic Settlement

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Address: Monasterboice, Co. Louth
Telephone: +353 (0)41 9837070

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The monastic site at Monasterboice is situated 5 miles north of Drogheda just off the N1 .It dates back to the 6th century when it was founded by St Buite. Nothing remains of the original monastery but there are remains of two 10th century churches. The churchyard is one of the longest working burial grounds in the world.

Monasterboice is known for its remains of the monastic settlement founded by Saint Buite in the fifth century. The remains consist of an old graveyard, two churches, three sculptured crosses, two early grave slabs and a sundial. Of particular interest here are the 3 Celtic Crosses and the Round Tower.

The cross nearest the graveyard entrance is Muirdeach's Cross, an outstanding example of high crosses of the Early Christian period in Ireland. It is a monolith, 17ft high. St Muiredach's Cross is widely regarded as the finest of its type in Ireland. The thyme of the cross is Christ the King with the cross and the re are depictions fron the Old Testement from Adam and Eve ,  Cain slaying Able to the Last Day. The cross is 5.2 metres high. The West Cross  is the tallest high cross in Ireland is 7 metres high and there is an unusual crucifixion scene  on the west face of this cross. There is a third but much less spectacular North Cross.

The South church is the older of the two and it still has the remains of the chancel arch. The smaller church is situated beside the Round Tower and has no trace of a chancel. The Round Tower is about 100ft high. It is now missing its upper part and conical cap. The door is six feet above ground level and is approached by a modern flight of steps.

Also at Monasterboice is a fine example of an Irish Round Tower , these were used as protection against the Vikings.

The site is open 24/7 and during June , July and August there is a local guiding service.

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