Round Tower

This 26 metre high round tower draws you toward the site of a monastery founded in the early part of the 9th century by Irish monks from Iona in Scotland. It is a fine 11th century tower but sadly the cap is missing. A stone wall has been built projecting out from either side of the tower. The doorway which is inside the graveyard appears quite low but the offset which can be seen on the street side of the tower is at least two metres lower than the ground level inside. This shows the doorway was at least 3.6 metres above ground level when the tower was built. The tower unusually has five bell-storey windows each said to be facing one of the five roads into Kells.

Street view

The tripartite arch of the doorway with the two weathered carvings on either side of the slightly inclined jambs. The left one may have been a carved head.

Offset visible on the street

Situated: From Dublin take the N3 North through Navan, follow the main road through Kells till you see the round tower on your left, then turn left then left again and park up next to the gate at the round tower. You may have to walk around to the main gate for entry.

Discovery Map 42: N 7391 7587. Last visit April 2012.

Longitude: 6° 52' 48" W

Latitude: 53° 43' 38" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Approx date: 11th Century

Dimensions: Height 26m. Diameter: 4.75 m

Door: Above ground originally 3.6m. Type: Arched.

Windows: Nine. 5 Angle-headed and 4 lintelled.

Features: 5 bell tower windows. Door carvings.

Cap: Missing

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