Cloyne, Co. Cork
Cloyne (Irish: Cluain) is a small village to the south-east of the town of Midleton in eastern County Cork. The land around Cloyne is extremely rich and fertile, being mainly of limestone base. This makes it very suitable for agriculture, with many acres of wheat and barley harvested each year. The underlying limestone rock also gives rise to a spectacular network of caves under and to the south of the town. These caves are accessible from the grounds of Cloyne House on Rock Street. (Permission must be sought from the owner as these are private grounds).
Cloyne has associations with three remarkable though diverse personalities: Gerge Berkeley, the philosopher who was Bishop here from 1734 to 1753 before going onto found the famous Berkeley University in Bermuda - largely with money donated by Vanessa, the mysterious lady friend of Johathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick's in Dublin and author of Gulliver's Travels.
William Penn, founder of the State of Pennsylvania - the family home was at Shanagarry.
Christy Ring, probably the greatest hurler Ireland ever produced, was born here and is commemorated by a sculpture of him in the town.
Long before any of these, gentle St Coleman, a poet in Latin and Irish founded a monastery here, of which the 33m Round Tower still stands. In the medieval cathedral Berkeley is commemorated by a fine alabaster tomb.