While attending an academic conference in Ireland, I went with friends to see Slane and Monasterboice, two extraordinary historical sites by any European or international standards.
The monastic ruins at Slane in Co Meath stand proud and tall above the Boyne Valley in a landscape of timeless beauty. A few miles to the north at Monasterboice in Co Louth the ruins are more understated, hiding behind a garden hedge on a winding Irish lane.
But the majestic Round Tower at Monasterboice, rising well above 100ft – Ireland’s unique architectural contribution to medieval Europe – proclaims this place to have once been of great importance. These – and so many other Irish medieval ruins – are known not only to specialist scholars, but to discerning tourists from across the world, as once having been key centres in the nurturing and development of that phenomenon we call European civilisation.
Click here to read this article from The Irish Times