Round Tower

When we expanded the website to include Early Christian and Medieval monuments we decided to include the different forms of round towers. These would obviously include the free standing towers, example here, but also the later engaged towers, example here. In his book on Irish round towers, Lalor suggests the engaged towers were a progression from the free-standing towers. In total we estimate there is physical evidence of 72 surviving round towers, sixty four of which are free standing. Three of these towers, Kildare, Kilkenny and Devenish, are open to the public and can be climbed. Eight of the towers are on islands. Nendrum was originally on an island but can now be accessed by a causeway. Probably the strangest tower with any physical evidence is the one in Duleek. There is nothing left of it but a ghost or shadow of the round tower against the north wall of a 15th century medieval belfry. From historical records we do know that the tower was struck by lightning in 1471. The tower survived the lightning strike and sometime in the 15th century the belfry of the medieval church was built against the round tower. It is not uncommon for buildings to be erected, at a later date, in such close proximity to towers, see Lusk and St Mullins. Whether the tower collapsed or if it was demolished is unknown.

Traditionally it is believed St Patrick founded a bishopric in Duleek c.450 AD and St Cianán became the first Bishop in 489 AD. For more historical information about Duleek monastery see see St Mary's Abbey.

Situated: From Drogheda take the R152 south after approx 7 kilometres take a left at the fork in the road, sign posted Duleek, take a right turn at the small green in the centre of the town, the old Church of Ireland is about 100 metres down this road.

Discovery Map 43. O451 6842. Last visit Jan 2014.

Longitude: 6° 25' 9" W

Latitude: 53° 39' 18" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Approx date: Before 1147.

Dimensions: Estimated at 14 metres high.

Door: Unknown.

Windows: Unknown



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