How to use Monastic Ireland

Welcome to Monastic Ireland, a guide to Ireland's monastic heritage.

Ardfert OFM KS (106)

Monastic Ireland tells the story of Ireland’s medieval past through the retelling of the histories of surviving religious buildings throughout Ireland and by providing virtual tours of each site, in addition to extensive image collections and maps of each site.


How to use Monastic Ireland 


From the Home Page, the visitor can decide a variety of ways of exploring the website:


The primary way is by a County or Provincial location search – this will open a map which will then present all the relevant religious sites within the chosen area


Advanced search allows the visitor to be more specific in what they are looking for:


Artistic Features will present all relevant sites containing the specified artistic feature, (e.g. architectural sculpture, stained glass or window tracery)


Religious Orders allows you to search by a specific religious community (e.g. Franciscan, Cistercian or Dominican).  Any religious locations associated with the order will be displayed


Search A-Z allows the visitor to carry out a general search of their choosing, from a family name to a location to a type of building (e.g. O’Brien, Adare or Library)


The Favourites section allows you to view the list of religious sites that you have added to your favourites.  This allows for quicker access to the religious sites


The Reference Library is under construction at present.  It will contain extensive research material and guides for those who wish to study the history of these medieval foundations further


How to explore each site


Each religious foundation featured on Monastic Ireland follow a simple format:


History :  This section presents the history of the Place and the People who played key roles in that history.  The Why Visit?section reveals what makes the place special and why the foundation is worth visiting.  In addition to a slide show of images, the What Happened? section presents a timeline of key events over the history of the site


Tour :  The tour section can be accessed via the Tourtab or by selecting the site plan image on the history page.  This is a virtual tour of the site, centred around a ground plan of the site.  This is numbered, with the corresponding rooms listed beside the plan.  These are linked to dropdown menus below the plan which, through text and images, explains what part of the building you are in and what is worth looking at.  A small map appears in each dropdown menu highlighting the room and is accompanied by a short explanation of what the specific room was used for.  The map is not interactive but by clicking on the list of rooms, you will be directed to the specific area in the drop down list


Location Map :  A google map detailing the location of the religious site and useful parking information can be found in this section


Visitor Information :  Useful accessibility details are to be found in this section, including parking, access and opening hours and admission charges (where applicable)


References :  This section presents the visitor with a number of key sources related to the religious site they are visiting.  Further, more extensive source material can be found in the Reference Librarysection



If you wish to know more about our project, please look to our About Monastic Ireland page. We welcome any comments or suggestions in our Contact section


Monastic Ireland is not only a research tool but a means for people to connect with and enjoy the rich culture and heritage that litters the Irish rural and urban landscapes.


We hope you enjoy using Monastic Ireland


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