Situated 15 kms west of the Royal Canal village of Enfield, where there is a canal park, on the Dublin-Mullingar road, Clonard today shows few signs of its glory in Ireland’s golden age.
St. Finian was made first Bishop of Clonard in 520 A.D. He opened a school here which later grew to be one of the most important seats of learning in Europe. It is said that in the height of its fame, this school attracted thousands of pupils from all over Ireland, England and the Continent; from it came such eminent men as St.Brendan and St. Colmcille.
One of the first cathedrals to be built in this country was erected here and was probably contemporary with Clonmacnoise. Sadly there is now no trace of Clonard¹s ancient glory, though there is an Anglo-Norman motte to be seen.
During the insurrection of 1798 there was a battle at Clonard and some of the insurgents who were killed are reputed to be buried beneath a small mound in an adjoining field.
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