County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Devenish Island Monastic Site, County Fermanagh

The Monastic Site on Devenish Island is one of the most important in Ulster, and also one of the most isolated.  As it's name suggests it is situated on a small island in Lower Lough Erne, a little way north of Enniskillen.  The site is small compared to others like Clonmacnoise or Glendalough, but was nonetheless very important.

The dominant feature here is the Round Tower, which is one of the best preserved and can be climbed.  It is also probably one of the last Round Towers to be built as it seems to date from the 12th Century.  The foundations of an earlier Tower stand nearby.

Also on the island are the remains of two very ancient churches, a graveyard with some excellent Celtic-styled gravestones and a Church which was in use until the 19th century when the locals decided it was just too much trouble rowing coffins out to the island.

The site is owned by the Northern Ireland Ministry of Works and is free to visit, although there is a small charge for the ferry from the mainland.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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