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Dysert O'Dea Church stands on the site of an early Christian monastery. The monastery was founded by St. Tola, who died in about A.D. 735, although most of the present buildings are from the 12th century.
The Dysert O'Dea monastic site is home to the Dysert O'Dea Church and the remains of a round tower. The church contains many long forgotten graves with some lovely crosses. The most interesting parts of the church are the east window, which is made up of three tall arches, and the beautifully carved doorway, made of four arches. The most significant arch is the first one, which is made of many faces (humans, dogs, and birds). The other three, inner, arches are carved with different patterns.
The round tower survives as a five metre stump. The doorway is present near the top of the stump and there are two arrow-slit windows at ground level.
This monastic site is part of the Dysert O'Dea Archaeological Trail. There are many more historical sites in the immediate vicinity including O'Dea Castle, St. Tola's high cross (with a carving of Christ being crucified), two ring forts, the remains of a fulacht fiadh, and the ruins of a stone Victorian house dating from 1861.
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