Round Tower

The round tower Nendrum is one of only three towers in county Down, sadly all three are incomplete. We know very little about this monument as unfortunately the monastic site at Nendrum was 'lost' for centuries. The monastery was abandoned in the 15th century and forgotten about until 1845, when the Irish Antiquarian and ecclesiastical historian William Reeves identified the site as the monastic site Oendruim mentioned in earlier sources. Reeves, who was searching for churches listed in the papal taxation list of 1306 was bought up to see a 'lime kiln' at the site, but immediately identified it as the stump of a round tower. Reeves later became Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore from 1886 till his death in 1892.

The site remained overgrown until H.C. Lawlor carried out excavation and restoration work between 1922 and 1924. Today the tower stands at about 4.25 metres high. There are no features present except for the foundation or offset that is now clearly visible, see image below. The other round towers in County Down are at Drumbo and Maghera. Northern Irelands finest example is probably the complete tower on Devenish Island, Lower Lough Erne County Fermanagh.

Situated: From Comber head south on the A22 take first left. After 3 mls turn left on to Ringneill Rd. 1.8ml turn right onto Reagh Island. Continue on to Mahee Island. 1.1ml keep right at the fork, Nendrum is on your right.

Discovery Map 15: J 5235 6365. Last visit Aug 2012.

Longitude: 5° 38' 53" W

Latitude: 54° 29' 54" Nit

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Approx date: Unknown.

Dimensions: Height of stump 4.5m. Diameter: 4.2m.

Door: Unknown.

Windows: Unknown.

Features: None.

Cap: Missing.

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