One of Offaly's defining features is the large number of significant early monastic sites. This was identified in the first Offaly Heritage Plan 2002 - 2006 and the current plan continues to emphasise its importance. There have been a number of projects that have been undertaken to date.
Publication - Stories from a Sacred Landscape, Croghan Hill to Clonmacnoise by Caimin O'Brien
In 2006, Offaly County Council published a book Stories From A Sacred Landscape, Croghan Hill to Clonmacnoise by Caimin O'Brien. This sets out the vivid picture of 23 monastic settlements, highlighting their role in society and their changes in fortune through political upheaval. It is now sold out but it is available through the library service and limited copies are available from the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society, Bury Quay.
Monastic Sites to Visit in Offaly
There are a number of sites that are appropriate to visit and have information boards. For more detailed information on the archaeology of each site see www.archaeology.ie
Geophysical Surveys of Monastic Sites
In order to gain a greater understanding of the structure of monastic sites in the county, a number of geophysical studies have been undertaken at Lemanaghan, Killeigh, and Rahan by Offaly County Council with funding from the Heritage Council.