5 Church St
The monastery was founded by St. Colman Mac Lenene who died in 604. In 1749, a lightning storm caused notable damage, however drawings show that the conical cap on the tower had been replaced by battlements before this time. Excavations done by the South Munster Society of Antiquaries in 1841 uncovered the bones from several skeletons. Controversy ensued as to whether the bones were debris used to fill the base of the tower, or were proper Christian burials inside the base of the tower. No scientific evidence was produced to support either theory.
Although there is evidence of human activity since about 2000 BC. Cloyne really came into its own in 560 when St. Coleman founded his monastery here. Built on a network of caves which are all but impassable it is rumored that in the penal days priests used a secret underground link from Cloyne House to the Catholic graveyard in order to say mass for the people.
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