Round Tower

I was really delighted to find the round tower at Meelick was situated in a hillside graveyard, with splendid views of the surrounding countryside. Nothing is known about the foundation of the original monastery and the only remaining evidence of the monastic site is the tower and a superb cross slab attached to eastern side of the tower. At first sight the tower, which stands at 25.5 metres high, is truly impressive. Built of evenly coursed limestone this stunning monument appears to reach right up to the heavens, even without it's missing cap. The southeast facing arched doorway has an extremely long sill stone with inclining jambs. The arch is comprised of 5or 6 voussoirs. A modern metal gate has been added to the doorway. There may have been five or six floors in the drum. Although the bell storey windows are missing there are six windows remaining in the drum. The lower two windows are angled headed and the upper four lintelled. Two offsets are visible on the northwest side of the tower, see bottom image.

An added bonus to my visit was the wonderful cross slab. It is ornately decorated with superb interlacing design and bears an inscription. The last few letters are quite worn and difficult to make out. Research has not helped identify the name at the end. It reads either 'OR DO GRICOUR' - a prayer for Gricour, or 'OR DO GRIENI'. A visit to this impressive monument is strongly recommended.

Pictured below from left to right are the arched doorway, one of the angled windows and the superb cross slab.

Situated: From Swinford head southwest on the N5 for 5.5 kilometres. Turn right signed Maloney Quarries. Travel 1.3 kilometres.

Discovery Map 32: M 3298 9739. Last visit June 2014.

Longitude: 9° 1' 13" W

Latitude: 53° 55' 18" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Approx date: 11th/12th Century.

Dimensions: Height 21.5 m. Diameter: 5.45 m

Door: Above ground 3.45m. Type: Arched.

Windows: Six. 4 lintelled, Two angled.

Features: The superb stonework.

Cap: Missing.

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