Clonmacnoise has a functioning church that was built in the 12th century. Since the 18th century, Temple Connor (left) has been home to a Church of Ireland congregation. A padlock keeps it closed to tourists when not in use.
Right: Tiny flowers grow on the ancient stones.
A well-preserved round tower stands against the
backdrop of the Shannon River. An
Irish defense innovation, (below right) it has no door. Those with permission to enter had to climb rope ladders that were let down from the
narrow windows above.
Below: author stands amid the ruins.