A monastery was founded in Ardfert by St. Brendan 'The Navigator' in the 6th century. There are three medieval churches, two ogham stones and a number of early Christian and medieval grave slabs on the site today.
The earliest building is the cathedral which dates from the 12th to 19th centuries. It has a fine Romanesque west doorway, a magnificent 13th century east window and a spectacular row of nine lancets in the south wall.
Two effigies of ecclesiastical figures of late 13th to early 14th century date which were mounted on either side of the east window are on view in the South Transept . The battlements were added in the 15th century.
The pre-12th century block of masonry is clearly visible in the north wall. One of the two smaller churches is a fine example of late Romanesque and the other, Temple na Griffin, is a plain 15th century structure with an interesting carving of a wyvern on one of the windows. It is in this building that the corpus of decorated stone is housed.
For more information and to arrange a visit go to http://www.heritageireland.ie/...
The OPW offers free access to all OPW managed Heritage Sites to school-going children under their Free Schools Visits programme. This Programme is intended to support the educational curriculum and children can, with their teachers, engage with many relevant aspects of their learning including art, history and social science at these historic & heritage locations throughout the country.
Text courtesy of Heritage Ireland.