Kildare Monastic Trail

Explore the ancient monasteries of County Kildare around atmospheric ruins, some of Ireland’s best preserved round towers, high crosses and fascinating tales of history and folklore.

County Kildare is at the heart of the story of the dawn of Christianity in Ireland, and some of Ireland’s most famous saints like Brigid, Colmcille and Patrick have strong links with the county.

The trail extends the length and breath of the County and leads you around historic sites, telling the story of Kildare. Discover beautiful high crosses, a round tower and Ireland’s only Scandinavian style Viking hogback grave at Castledermot Monastery, while at Castledermot Friary ramble around the remains of a Franciscan monastery that served the bustling medieval town of Castledermot.

The truly monumental Moone High Cross, one of the tallest, best preserved and most celebrated of the Irish high crosses is worth stopping at before arriving in Old Kilcullen. Here you’ll find an ancient monastery that overlooks the beautiful countryside of Co. Kildare with segments of a high cross and a round tower.

The trail continues on to Kildare town, where the story of Ireland’s foremost female saint is told at St Brigid’s Cathedral. Next top is Clane, and the site of St Ailbe’s monastery and where the Franciscans established a 13th century foundation.

At Taghadoe, there are the remains of a monastery founded by St Tua the Silent, with a fine round tower before ending at Oughterard, a hilltop monastic site with a round tower and a ruined church, which has become famous as the burial place of Arthur Guinness.

To download an audio guide, click here.

Contact Details

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Market Square, Kildare, County Kildare, Ireland.

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