The ancient abbey at Clonmacnoise is one of the most famous sites of its kind in Europe. Built by St. Kieran in about 545AD, the abbey grew in stature to become one of the great monastic cities of early Europe. There are many crosses and towers still standing at the site, and the interpretive centre draws about 100,000 visitors every year. There are exhibitions and an audio-visual show, and a tea room.
Clonfert Cathedral is about ten miles from Ballinasloe, and is regarded as a classic example of Irish-Romanesque architecture. Built on the site of a monastery founded by St. Brendan, the intricate sandstone carvings of the building make this well worth a visit.
The Battle of Aughrim Interpretive Centre is about four miles from Ballinasloe, and provides information on a famous battle fought here in the eighteenth century. It was as a result of this battle that the Trenches were awarded the earldom of Clancarty.