On a return trip to Wales in the 5th century, St Declan came across the village of Ardmore and founded a monastery there. High on a hill above the village visitors can discover the well-preserved 30-m-high, 12th-century round tower which served as a belfry and place of refuge. The ruins of a Cathedral dating from the 13th and an oratory from the 8th centuries respectively can also be found here. The oratory a small church named for St Declan is believed to be the burial place of its namesake. The cathedral features marvellous Romanesque sculptures depicting scenes from the old and new testaments. Inside the house of worship, there are two fascinating Ogham stones. One of the outer walls of the Cathedral features some stone carvings retrieved from an earlier 9th-century building. The carvings include a very early image of a harp, images of Adam and Eve in the garden and a representation of "Solomon's judgement". The Cathedral also contains two Ogham stones, which rest in small alcoves. Some elements of the original structure can still be seen within the building. A must visit on Ireland’s Ancient East.
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