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Irish Round Towers

31 30 prestIge of abbots and warriors The truth seems to be reasonably simple. Tall was beautiful even then. Like modern skyscrapers these towers demonstrated the power and wealth of their owners. As for their being a defence against the Vikings, many were built in areas the Vikings controlled, and most attacks were made by other Irishmen. The towers were built in what were very troubled times, and as Ireland then had no stone castles, they were very impressive looking strongholds at the time. Though the towers obviously had a defensive role, they were not particularly effective see the gazeteer for grizzly details. Boltholes at several doorways show that people expected to lock themselves inside and having the doors at a height was an obvious help. Hardly a year went by without one petty kingdom waging war against another one and the monasteries, as repositories of much treasure, were obvious targets. In fact many European Romanesque keeps had elevated entrances, and at Lake Chiemsee there is an early ninth century keep whose entrance is a full storey above ground level. So this defensive device was in use before the first Irish towers . Tory Island
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