Dysert O'Dea

Round Tower

The round tower is one of the 25 antiquities to be found on the Dysert O'Dea Archaeological Trail, see the castle page for more information. The tower stands 14.6 metres high and has a large breach in the southern side of the drum. The diameter at the base is 5.9 metres, but there is a notable reduction in the diameter above the first floor. In Lalor's superb book on Irish Round Towers, he says it is unclear whether this is because of a late medieval construction or if it is original masonry. There is another breach in the drum on the northwestern side. This may have been an attempt to insert another doorway at a later date. There is a single offset clearly visible at the base of the tower. I particularly like the arched doorway. It stands about 4.5 metres above ground level and stands out slightly from the drum. It has six unmatched voussoirs in the arch, each equal to the width of the wall. The untidy extrados, outer curve, of the arch does the match the rather neat interior curve, see image below.

The best views of the tower are probably from the field to the east where St Tola's 12th century high cross is situated. Because of the close proximity of the church at the south and trees at the north and west it is almost impossible to get a satisfactory image from here. This is one of five round towers in County Clare. Killinaboy and Drumcliff round towers are within seven kilometres of here.

Situated: From Ennis head northwest on the N85. After 2.5 kilometres turn right onto the R476. Then 4.7K turn left (Signposted Dysert Church). The monastic site is 2.1K down here on your right.

Discovery Map 57: R 2810 8479. Last Visited Aug 2014.

Longitude: 9° 4' 7" W

Latitude: 52° 54' 33" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Approx date: 12th Century.

Dimensions: Height 14.6 metres Diameter: 5.9 metres

Door: Above ground 4.45m. Type: Arched

Windows: One medieval ogee headed window.


Cap: Missing.

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