In medieval times Clonmines may have been an important city. Silver and lead were mined in nearby mines and shipped from the harbour at the head of Bannow Bay. The ruins of two churches, a monastery and two tower houses indicate a once large settlement. But then came the sand. The port gradually began to dry up, depriving the city of its livelihood. In the 17th century the city was finally abandoned.
The ruins of the medieval town of Clonmines stand on private farm land and are not open to the public. From the old cemetery at the end of Wellington Bridge (R733 towards Arthurstown) you can see the ruins on the other side of the river.