Dysert O’Dea , Co. Clare

dysert-o-dea-castleDysert O’Dea is the site of the ancient monastic foundations of St Tola and the scene of an important battle in 1318 when the O’Briens defeated the De Clares of Bunratty, thus preventing the Anglo-Norman takeover of Clare.

Another hidden gem worth a visit on any Ireland tours.

At the site you wander around the remains of a 12th – 13th Century Romanesque church with a richly carved south doorway and carvings of animal heads and human faces.

Of particular interest is the 12th century White Cross of Tola , with carvings of Christ and a Bishop in high relief , Daniel in the lions’ den , as well as intricate patterning.

The O’Dea Castle nearby houses an archaeological centre from where a history trail starts out that takes in the high cross , ring forts and an ancient cooking site.

Have a wee look on any tours of Ireland , it is an interesting spot.