10th Century Round Tower

The round tower at Clones would have originally stood at almost 23 metres in height, including the conical cap, which is now sadly missing. The tower was built from sandstone and looks as though it may have been an early tower probably built around the 10 century. There were four storeys including the bell storey. Each storey was lit by a single window except for the bell-storey which had the usual four windows, one at each cardinal points on the compass. In the Irish language round towers are known as Cloigteach literally meaning bell house. Also in St Tierney's graveyard are some interesting grave slabs and the wonderful tomb shrine of St Tighernach (Tierney).

In the image below left, we can see the thickness of the walls through the window. The towers were constructed by building an inner and out wall and filling the gap between them with rubble. This method of construction can be seen clearly at St Mullins in County Carlow. The image belowleft, shows a simple doorway, the lintel stone at the top of the doorway helps to date the tower to about the 10th century. In later towers the arch started to appear in their construction, culminating in the elaborate romanesque doorways at Timahoe and Ardmore. Some romanesque doorways were inserted into earlier towers, the round tower at Donaghmore in County Meath is an excellent example.

Situated:Very easy. Heading into Clones on the N54 from Butlersbridge the tower is on your right. When you see the tower turn right down Abbey Street. Park here and walk through a gate into the Graveyard.

Discovery Map 27, 28A: H 501 257. Last visit Sept 2010.

Longitude: 7° 13' 59" W

Latitude: 54° 10' 40" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Approx date: 10th Century

Dimensions: Height 23 m. Diameter: 4.5 m

Door: Above ground 2.12m. Type: Lintelled.

Windows: Five. All lintelled.

Features: None

Cap: Missing

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