"Most old towns in Ireland have their own monuments and tradition. Roscrea is particulary rich in its ancient history and many relics stand to the present day.
Right in the centre of the town stands a fine old round tower. The second window from the top has a sword and the anchor of a ship carved deeply into the rock and it can be seen distinctly from the bottom of the tower.
The story goes that during the religious persecution the monks used to coceal themselves there and defend themselves from the soldiers.
Opposite this tower there is a churchyard in which stands a fine old celtic iron cross erected in memory of St. Cronen. This is one of the three perfect Celtic crosses in Ireland. Tradition had it that while Cromwell was conquering Ireland some soldiers captured this churchyard and one saw this cross and tried to cut the figure on it in half with his sword but when he did that it began to bleed and the soldier fled terrified. That is why at the present time there is only half the figure on the cross.
Another famous old ruin is the castle of St. John which is situated in a very prominent part of the town. This castle contains a secret passage leading to a place called Moin na hinse or the Holy Island. Many stories are told in relation to this place. the most notable being about a woman who concealed some priests in the moastery and later betrayed them to the soldiers because of bribery. She was immediately turned into stone. Even now the stone can be seen there in the exact form of a woman except that her head is the same shape and size as a pancake.
This historic and old Island has a cairn where all the monks are buried, and also a great deal of their vessels some being dug up at the present day. Only a few months ago a man who was digging found a Holy water font and some gold candle sticks. A very ancient cross stands in a corner of the Catholic churchyard and it is supposed to be erected in memory of the first man to be buried there."