Monaghan County Museum is a treasure trove of local history, and well worth including in your itinerary while on holiday in County Monaghan. Established over 40 years ago, its most famous exhibits include the 14th century Cross of Clogher and a collection of items found in nearby crannógs (man-made islands situated in a shallow part of a lake).
The Cross of Clogher is made of bronze-encased oak with richly decorated panels showing Christian iconography. The top panel depicts a crucifixion scene in high relief, with angels on either side. The crannóg collection includes leather shoes, ornate combs made of bone and needles made of antler—each piece was found in local crannógs, built originally for defence against attack but later used as status symbols by local Chieftains.
Monaghan County Museum showcases the archaeology of the local region and is also actively involved in many archaeological excavations in the local area. It was awarded a Council of Europe Award in 1980 and the Gulbenkian (a Norwich Union award), and runs a number of outreach exhibitions throughout the county.
Monaghan County Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1974 and was originally housed in the courthouse in the centre of town; following a fire that destroyed the building in 1981 the collection was stored at the Christian Brothers Secondary School before its relocation to the current venue on Hill Street in August 1986.
The fully refurbished museum was opened in June 1990 by Dr Patrick Hillery, then President of Ireland. Visit the modern day Monaghan County Museum to get a closer look at the fascinating artefacts that have some interesting stories to tell about the heritage of County Monaghan.