7th Century Kilmacduagh – Tallest Round Tower in the World
Kilmacduagh (pronounced Kil-mac-dua, means the ‘church of Duagh’s son’)
The 7th Century saint, Saint Colman, son of Duagh, established a monastery on land given him by his cousin King Guaire. According to legend, Saint Colman MacDuagh was walking through the woods of the Burren when his girdle fell to the ground. Taking this as a sign, he built his monastery on this spot.
The site was of such importance that it became the centre of the new diocese, the Diocese of Kilmacduagh, in the 12th Century. Owing to its wealth and importance, the monastery was plundered several times in the 13th Century.
With its 1.9m-thick base walls (6 feet), its round tower is reportedly the tallest round tower in the world at 34m (111 feet). The place of refuge for the monks in case of attack, and a place to secure their sacred church treasures (manuscripts, jewelled croziers and costly chalices). The round tower probably dates from the 12th Century. It tower has a considerable lean, likened to that of the Tower of Pisa, Italy.
For security and the preservation of its contents, the burial tombs within the inner cathedral are protected by locked gates, though clear views are possible (it is said that access keys can be obtained from the nearby Tower View B&B). Walking around the graveyard (still in use today) one can see family burial plots, complete with readable headstones dating as far back as the 1800’s.
Please exercise care and respect when visiting this important heritage site. Location Map – https://goo.gl/maps/GVkoj88QZQw
See the full collection of photos here.