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Irish Round Towers

8 Like the towers, virtually all other Irish buildings of the time had circular plans. The Irish lived in round wattle and daub houses, and round palisaded forts called raths. Only the churches were rectangular, in deference, presumably, to Roman tradition. The earliest were tiny, but after mortar reached Ireland in the eighth century larger churches started to appear. Only these, and the round towers themselves, were built with mortar. Hoists, pulleys, and scaffolding were devised to raise stones and mortar to higher and higher levels, and the holes for scaffolding beams are still visible in some tower walls. A further problem was that the types of available stone varied enormously. Some areas had plentiful sandstone, which could be neatly carved and shaped, but in other places there was only ironhard basalt or granite, though even here the larger stones were hammered into a curve. buIldIng In the round no need for corner stones 9 Drumlane
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