George Petrie (1790-1866) was a hugely influential nineteenth century artist and antiquarian who, among many other achievements, published the huge 'Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland' containing many drawings of church buildings from before the Norman invasion. This influenced the subsequent Hyberno- Romanesque Revival in church building. A place he returned to again and again was Clonmacnoise, on the River Shannon in Co Offally. This ecclesiastical site dates from the sixth century and has many interesting remains. The round tower in the drawing is O'Rourkes tower dating from 1124, while the doorway in the distance is the north doorway of the cathedral and dates from the fifteenth century. Many of the the kings of Connacht were buried here including the last high king of Ireland: Rory O'Connor, in 1198. Petrie drew a similar view to this a number of times with the sun setting in the distance over the Shannon and birds settling around the tower. In the foreground at that time a jumble of gravestones and a number of pilgrims doing the 'last circut'. Today, it is tourists on more regularised ground and the swathes of vegetation strangling the tower are gone, but it remains a place with a very special atmosphere.