Clonfert is a tiny spread out village in East Galway but its but its significance as an archeological site cannot be over emphasised because on Tuesday Sept. 14th 1999 St. Brendan’s Cathedral in Clonfert Co. Galway was officially listed on the World Monuments Watch as one of the top one hundred of the World’s Endangered Monuments.
The diocese of Clonfert itself was founded by St. Brendan the Navigator c.557 and is now used as a Church of Ireland parish church. The medieaval building has a nave dating back to the 10th. century and the chancel and transepts date to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. By far the greatest treasure at Clonfert is the Hiberno Romanesque Doorway dating back to 1180. This world famous doorway boasts a rich array of artistic styles and influences, its decorative devices consisting of animal, human and stylized floral or vegetal forms. It is carved in brown sandstone and has suffered badly from erosion and weathering.
It is said that 3,000 students came to study here in the 16th. century but today people come here today to pray in Emmanual House Of Providence which is a Catholic Centre for prayer and evangelisation and also to the local Catholic Church which houses the wooden 14th. century statue of Our Lady of Clonfert.
Located inside the small roadside gate, it consists of a votive tree bearing rags and various objects left by people seeking a cure for various ailments
A ruined 17th. century mansion was the home of the Protestant bishops of Clonfert until the 1830’s when it was occupied by John Eyre Trench, a local landlord.