Nendrum Monastery may have been founded in the 5th century, but this is uncertain. The monastery came to an end at some time between 974 and 1178, but its church served a parish until the site was abandoned in the 15th century. Some remains of the monastery can still be seen.

Dendrochronology has dated a tide mill on the island to the year 619, making this the oldest excavated tide mill anywhere in the world. The monastic site included orchards, gardens, pastures, arable fields, and a guest-house.

The principal monastic remains which can now be seen are three concentric cashels (enclosures) of dry stone walling, but these were substantially rebuilt by Lawlor in the 1920s. The central cashel has the round tower remains, a ruined church with a sun-dial, and a graveyard. The second cashel contains what is called a 'monastic school' or workshop and other burials.

The canonical sundial now seen at one corner of the ruined church was reconstructed from fragments found during the excavation of the site in 1924 and has been dated to about the year 900. One of only a few early medieval sun-dials known to exist, it takes the form of a vertical stone pillar, 190 cm high, 40 cm wide and 15 cm thick, with the dial and gnomon on one face at the top. However, because of the nature of the reconstruction, the original height of the pillar is conjectural.

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Founded: 7th century AD
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Noel Hunt (14 months ago)
Scenic place and a nice feel but people let their brats run wild.
Lauren Hewitt (15 months ago)
Lovely site with good views and it's nice to have a few information signs about to tell you more about the history of the site. Facilities could be improved by having toilets that are available at all times.
James Mccracken (16 months ago)
Very interesting. I have visited here before. The interpretation exhibit is never open. Can it not be manned on a more regular basis?
Jules G (17 months ago)
Good parking and easily accessible. The monastic site is on a small hill providing short walks around the ruins. Picnic tables and good views in whatever weather.
Clark Chambers (18 months ago)
Fascinating place and normally very peaceful and spiritual. Unfortunately some family could think only of themselves and not how they could be ruining the experience for others. Last time I visited, hoping to do some photography, some family had decided to sit right on the ruins while their little boy sat right on top of the structure. There's a perfectly good picnic table at the far end overlooking the lough. No need to be so selfish. When there's no one else there though, it's beautiful, serene and strangely mysterious.
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