The historic ruins of Monasterboice  are an early Christian settlement  founded in the late 5th century by Saint Buithe.   Monasterboice was an important centre of religion and learning until the founding of nearby Mellifont Abbey in 1142.   The site houses the ruins of two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower standing over 100 feet tall.  The round tower is in very good condition, but the monastery was burned in 1097.

The site is most famous for its 10th century high crosses.  The 16 foot Muiredach’s High Cross is regarded as the finest high cross in the whole of Ireland.   It is named after an abbot, Muiredach mac Domhnaill, who died in 923 and features biblical carvings of the Bible.   The North and West crosses are also fine examples of this kind of structure, but these have suffered much more from the effects of the weather.

The weather changed several times in a short period during our visit, going from overcast to showers, to sun with passing storm clouds.    My favorite shots were taken after the sun broke, but the storm clouds were still hanging around.


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