Old Kilcullen, County Kildare

Overlooking the basin of the River Barrow and with fine views of the plain that stretches to Dublin are the vestiges of a monastery founded in the 5th century by St Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to the Island. Like many Irish monasteries it was raided and burnt several times by the Vikings who forayed from their secure base in what is now Dublin, and their stronghold in Leixlip, to the North. All that remains is the shaft of a granite High Cross like those at Moone and Castledermot, with few of the carved figures now identifiable, the shaft and base of another cross, and a crumbling Round Tower damaged in the fighting during the 1798 Rebellion against British rule.

Old Kilcullen is a real hidden gem that is worth a stop on your Ireland tours.