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Irish Round Towers

19 18 clones an early tower Clones monastery was founded by St. Tigernach, who had previously been the bishop of Clogher, and died here in 549. It became an important centre, the principal abbey of the local kingdom, of Uriel. A fine 10th century High Cross survives, as do fragments of a Romanesque church at some considerable distance from the tower, and a fine 12th century monolithic gabled housetomb containing the bones of St. Tigernach. All the churches of Clones were destroyed in a raid in 836, which was a year of terrible Viking raids, warfare and destruction throughout the country. Devenish was also destroyed by them that year. Clones was burned again in 1096, but there is little other information about the site. The tower is complete up to bellfloor level, but its cap is missing, and the straightforwardly unembellished form of its construction suggests an early date, probably 10th century. Its masonry consists of roughly coursed and dressed sandstone, and there is only a slight batter. The doorway is a simple rectangle, narrow, with approximately straight jambs and a monolithic lintel. It faces east, but there are no traces of any church nearby. All the windows are equally plain and squareheaded, and are capped by flat lintels.
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