If you like medieval religious buildings, then don’t miss in Clonmel the St Mary Church, a beautiful 13th century Irish church. Although old, it was rebuilt many times, following repeated British assaults (including that of Oliver Cromwell). Magnificent, the church of Clonmel is nowadays a real treasure of the city’s heritage, not to be missed under any circumstances!
The Old St Mary’s Church was built in 1204 by William de Burgh, and is one of the very first buildings built in Clonmel. This magnificent building has the particularity of having been fortified to be able to resist possible assailants. This explains its crenellated towers, loophole windows, and thick stone walls.
However, the church as we know it today took shape during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. It was renovated many times following the devastation caused by the siege of Cromwell and other battles…
The church has a square shape with 27 metres of sides, an 84-metre bell tower and a fortified tower that was once used as a residence and later as a sacristy. A small cemetery is also part of the building, and consists mainly of Celtic crosses and other typical Irish stelae. Do not hesitate to visit the interior of the building: you will be seduced by the beauty of its architecture, its stained glass windows and the subtlety of its Gothic sculptures!