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Irish Round Towers

55 54 tradition said it had a silver bell of miraculous power. 3 Devenish Complete, with cap. On Devenish Island, Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh. 25m high, 4.8m base diam. The foundations of an earlier round tower are beside it. The monastery was founded by St. Molaise, died 563. Site destroyed by Vikings 836 and again 1157. Beautifully carved cornice. 17 Donaghmore Complete tower with damaged cap. 5 km NE of Navan, Co. Meath, on N51. 26.6m high, 5.0m base diam. Monastery said to have been founded by St. Cassanus, a disciple of St. Patrick. The 15th C. church ruin incorporates a fragment of an earlier church. Crucifiction carving above doorway and two heads. 50 Downpatrick Vanished. Co. Down. Demolished c.1800 so as to repair the cathedral with its stones. 12 Dromiskin Unusually low tower with cap. 10 km SW of Dundalk, Co. Louth, on the N1. 15.2m high, 5.2m base diam. Monastery reputedly founded by St. Patrick, and repeatedly plundered between 948 and 1043. 45 Drumbo Lower third still stands. 5 km NE of Lisburn, Co. Down. 5.4m high, 4.9m base diam. Monastery said to date from St. Patricks time. 11 Drumcliff Lower third of tower. 6.5 km NW of Sligo, Co. Sligo, on N16. 9m high, 5.0m base diam. Monastery founded by St. Columba in 575 and frequently plundered. Tower was struck by lightning in 1396. A fine High Cross stands in the graveyard. 18 Drumcliff Ruined stump. On N85, 4 km NW of Ennis, Co. Clare. 11m high, 4.9m base diam. Monastery founded by St. Conald. 31 Drumlane Nearly complete tower. 1 km S. of Milltown village on R201, Co. Cavan. 11.6m high, 5.1m base diam. Monstery founded by St. Maedoc in 6th C. Two indistinct carvings birds on N. face. 41 Duleek Ghost of small round tower impressed into side of 15th C. church belfry. 8 km SW of Drogheda, Co. Meath, on R150. 14m high, 5.2m base diam. Trad. site of first stone church in Ireland, built by St. Cianan, died 489. Brian Borus body was laid here after Battle of Clontarf 1014. Tower struck by thunderbolt 1147. 54 Dungiven Vanished. Co. Londonderry. The Augustinian priory had an attached round tower at the SW corner c.15m high. Undermined by treasureseekers and fell in 1784. 5 Dysert Oenghusa Nearly complete tower missing upper windows. 3 km W. of Croom, Co. Limerick, on the N20. 20.7m high, 5.3m base diam. Monastery founded by Oenghus the Culdee, died 815. Ruin of medieval church stands beside it. Fine carving round doorway. 85 Dysert ODea Ruined. On R476, 5 km S. of Corrofin, Co. Clare. 14.6m high, 5.9m base diam. An important early monastic site with 12th C. High Cross, founded 7th or 8th C. by St. Tola. 30 Emly Vanished. 12 km W. of Tipperary. The cathedral and tower were completely burnt in 1058 by Turlough OBrien. The monastery was founded by St. Ailbhe in the early 6th C. 83 Faughart Bare featureless stump. 2 km N of Dundalk, off the N11, Co. Louth. 5.8m diam. Traditional birthplace of St. Brigid. Monastery founded by St. Monenna in 6th C. Edward the Bruce was killed here in 1318. 44 Ferns Incomplete tower on square base. 12 km NE of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, on N11. 18.2m high, 2.9m diam. An engaged tower, part of 12th C. church, both dating from the foundation of an Augustinian priory here by Dermot MacMurrough in 1160. 74 Fertagh Complete, missing cap. 4 km N. of Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny, on N1. Monastery founded by St. Kieran in 5th C. Devastated 1156 by Murtagh MacNiale, high king of Ireland, who burnt the round tower with the lector inside it. Doorway removed by a farmer in 1830s for his kitchen fireplace. 75 Glendalough Three round towers, a complete tower with cap, 30.5m high, 4.5m base diam b engaged complete tower with cap on St. Kevins church, 14.1m high, 2.0m base diam and c vanished engaged tower on Trinity church, 15m high, 4m base diam. 4 km W. of Laragh, Co. Wicklow, on R755. Monastery founded by St. Kevin, died 618, and became an important centre of learning. Raided and destroyed many times between 8th and 12th C.s. Tower c collapsed in a storm in 1818. 67 Inis Cealtra Complete tower missing cap. 1 km offshore from Mount Shannon, Co. Clare. 22.3m high, 4.6m base diam. Ruins of 4 churches on the island, and Two High Crosses. Settlement established by St. Columb of Terryglass in 7th C. Twice burnt by Vikings later under patronage of Brian Boru. 71 Inishkeen Delapidated lower part of tower. Village 5 km N. of R178, Co. Monaghan. 12.6m high, 4.5m base diam. Founded by St. Dega in 6th C. Partly demolished in 19th C. for use as a belfry. 42 Kellistown Destroyed 1807. Village lies 8 km SE of Carlow, on T16, Co. Carlow. A drawing shows it standing about 10m high. Church said to have been founded by St. Patrick. 73 Kells Complete, missing cap. In town of Kells, Co. Meath. 26m high, 4.8m base diam. Site was an ancient royal fort, granted to St. Columba c.550. A refuge for monks from Iona after Viking attacks in 804. A new monastic city was then built. Murchadh, King of Tara, killed in the tower, 1076. 3 High Crosses. 47 Kilbarry Vanished. On W. shore of Lough Forbes, Co. Roscommon. Destroyed by great storm in 1770s. The capstone is preserved on the cemetary wall and other stones from the tower are lying nearby. 38 Kilbennan Ruinous. 4 km NW of Tuam, Co. Galway. 16.5m high, 4.8m base diam. Monastery founded by St. Benen in 5th C., a disciple of St. Patrick. Monastery burnt in 1114. 24 Kilcoona Regular ashlar stump, with jogglejointed stones. Off the N84, 6 km SE of Headford, Co. Galway. 3.0m high, 5.0m diam. Founded by St. Cuanna, died 650, who collected many learned men around him at this church. The last tower known to be erected, 1238. 25 Kilcullen Bottom half of tower. 2 km S. of Kilcullen village, Co. Kildare. Monastery founded by St. Iserninus, companion of St. Patrick, died 469. Monastery plundered by Danes 936 and 944, and burnt 1114. Tower damaged during a battle of 1798 rebellion. 66 Kildare Complete tower, battlements replacing conical cap in 1730s. Beside Kildare cathedral. 32.6m high, 5.4m base diam. Nunnery founded by St. Brigid, died 525. Finely decorated doorway. Tower traditionally inhabited by a falcon since St. Brigids time. Fitted with ladders and floors enabling visitors to climb up inside. 64 Kilkenny Complete tower, missing cap. Beside Kilkenny cathedral. 30.2m high, 4.5m base diam. Founded by St. Canice in 6th C., burnt in 1085 and 1114. Fitted with ladders and floors, can be climbed. 76 Killala Complete tower with cap. 12 km NW of Ballyina, Co. Mayo, on R314. 25.6m high, 5.0m base diam. Monastery reputedly founded by St. Patrick in 5th C. St. Muiredach was first Bishop. Stands beside the Church or Ireland Cathedral under which is an elaborate early Christian souterrain. 19 Killashee Half tower on square base. 6 km S. of Naas, Co. Kildare. c10m high. Church founded by St. Auxilius, a prePatrician saint, c.400. 60 Killeany Stump. At Inishmore, Aran Islands, Co. Galway. 3.0m high, 4.8m diam. Founded c.490 by one of the leading schools in early Christian Ireland. Burnt 1020 and raided by Vikings 1081. Collapsed c.1760. 28 Killeevy Ruined base. 8 km SW of Newry, Co. Armagh, on B113. 10.8m high, 4.6m base diam. A round tower on a square base, the tower fell c. 1776. Nunnery founded here in 6th C. by St. Monenna. 15 Killeshin Vanished. 5 km W. of Carlow, Co. Laois. Demolished c.1703 by the landlord, thinking it a danger to his cattle. Height measured on ground as 32m. The monastery was founded in 5th C. A ruined church with remains of beautiful 12th C. doorway. 72 Killinaboy Featureless stump. Village on R476, 4 km NW of Corrofin, Co. Clare. 3.6m high, 5.1m base diam. Damaged by gunfire in Cromwellian wars. 33 Kilmacduagh Complete, with cap. 8 km SW of Gort, Co. Galway, on the R460. 34.9m high, 5.7m base diam. Monastery founded 7th C. by St. Colman Macduagh. Skeleton found under the tower in 1878 pg 20. 34 Kilmacnessan Stump. Church on Irelands Eye, an island off Howth promontory, Co. Dublin. 0.5m high, 3.6m base diam. As on Trinity church at Glendalough, a small tower rose from the arched chancel roof. 56 Kilmallock Complete tower, lacking cap, incorporated into a medieval church, with battlements added. In Kilmallock town, Co. Limerick. 16.9m high, 5.2m base diam. Monastery founded in 7th C. by St. Mocheallog. The ruined church is 13th15th C. 86 Kilree Complete to top windows. 3 km S. of Kells, Co. Kilkenny on R697. 26.8m high, 4.9m base diam. An early church stands 11m to the S. and a High Cross. 79 Kinneigh Complete, without conical cap. On the R588, 5 km NW of Enniskean village, Co. Cork. 21.1m high, 6m base diam. Uniquely it rises from a hexagonal plinth and the masonry is of exceptional quality. The 6th C. monastery founded by St. MoCholmog. The tower is described as nearing completion in c.1015. 92 Liathmore Foundation only. 6 km S. of Urlingford, Co. Tipperary, on N8. 5.5m base diam. Monastery founded by St. Mochoemog, died 655, aged 413. Site probablyy abandoned about 1050. Ruins of two small churches. 81 Limerick Vanished. Stood beside St. Patricks church in the SE Liberties of Limerick. Its stones were used by the Williamite army in 1690 to construct batteries during the seige of the town. 82 Louth Vanished. Co. Louth. In 987 the annals of Clonmacnoise say that the tower of Louth fell in a great wind. Monastery said to have been founded by St. Mochta, a prePatrician British saint. 43 Lusk Complete, but missing cap. On the R127, 20 km NE of Dublin. 26.6m high, 5.1m base diam. Monastery was founded in 5th C. by St. Macculind. Pillaged 835, burnt 854, burnt 1089 by Munster men with 180 people inside. Tower attached to medieval church belfry. 51 Maghera Ruinous. 5 km S. of Dundrum, on B180, Co. Down. 5.4m high, 4.9m base diam. Monastery founded by St. Donard in 6th C. Before 1744 the tower collapsed in a storm and lay at length and entire on the ground like a huge gun. 13 Meelick Almost complete tower, lacking top windows and cap. 5 km SW of Swinford, Co. Mayo, on N5. 21.m high, 5.4m base diam. Nothing is known about the history of Meelick apart from an early tombstone affixed to base of tower. Exceptionally well built. 21 Monasterboice Nearly complete tower, missing cap. 8 km N. of Drogheda, Co. Louth, on N1. 28.5m high, 5.0m base diam. Monastery founded by St. Buite mac Bronaigh, died 521. In 1097 the tower was burnt with its books and treasures. Two of the finest High Crosses in the graveyard also ruins of two churches. 46
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