Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Clonmacnoise Round Towers

O'Rourke's Round Tower

Temple Finghin church and Round Tower

The two towers to be found at Clonmacnoise are part of the stunning monastic city.
Along with the two towers this site also contains a cathedral, seven church's and three high crosses.

O'Rourke's  tower can be found in the north west corner of the graveyard.
The date the tower was finished is generally thought to be early 11th Century, but the tower is named after the builder Fergal O'Rourke who died 964AD. 
The tower was struck by lightning in 1135 and as a result is missing a lot of its original height.   
Allowing for that the tower still stands to an impressive 19 meters in height.
The doorway is over 3 meters from ground level, and faces south east.
Temple Finghin church and round tower are located at the edge of the graveyard closest to the Shannon.
The tower which was never free standing is dated mid to late 11th Century.
The later Romanesque Temple Finghin church provides the entrance to the tower.
The tower is 16.7 meters in height with the doorway located at ground level (with no evidence of any previous raised doorway on the tower).
The tower has a total of seven windows five of which are on the south side (visible in image). 

When I visited Clonmacnoise (2008) I was on my round tower hunt, all going well I would hope to revisit  this superb site this coming summer.