|Irish Round Towers|
Irish Round Towers
On our first trip to Ireland, we saw our first round tower at Turlough, just outside of Castlebar in County Mayo. Standing proud on the top of the cemetery ridge, it was visible for quite some distance. That it had survived for well over 800 years was incredible to me. Even knowing that it's conical stone cap had been replaced, it was amazing that the structure hadn't been blown down, blown apart by lightning, succumbed to battles of all sorts, or cleared away by overzealous local government trying to protect the public from what could be considered a safety hazard. More amazing still was the quality of workmanship in such a tall structure and that it hadn't been defaced by graffiti, or chipped at by bored local youths over hundreds of years. The fact that I was looking at a tower that was essentially the same as it had been when it was built was fascinating, and has fascinated me ever since.
On succeeding visits, we came across a few more towers, then looked for them, and on our last trip we actively sought them out. It has become a sort of quest.
By the Fall of 2004, we had logged our 25th round tower in a dozen counties scattered across Ireland. We had amassed quite a collection of photographs of these examples of uniquely Irish architecture. At this point I had read a number of books about the round towers and articles on theories about what they were for, who built them and why. Because there are reasonable theories, and some rather far-fetched speculation as to the purpose and function of the Irish Round Tower, and those who have written about them are far more learned than we are, we will leave those explanations to the professionals and experts.
What this website IS all about, is to share our photographs and some of the information we have collected on the round towers we have visited. On the surface, they all look pretty much alike, and there are, of course, structural similarities. Each one has unique features and many have additional interesting antiquities sharing space with them.
Still, having a page on each one helps us to keep track of them. In particular, I can give details about one round tower, but forget where it was located. Or I can remember where it was located, but get the details of one tower confused with another. Okay, I'm getting old...er. In all honesty, I was pretty much a ditz even without the age factor. My partner has no such afflictions, having a brain that can retrieve such facts at will. I need visual aids to remind me. And besides, some of the pictures are not too bad.
It's a way for us to compare towers, and - more importantly to me - to remember and share directions. Some are easy to find. For some others, the obvious route won't necessarily get you there.
This page is continually under construction.. As it evolves, we expect to be adding links to pictures we've taken of other items of interest at these sites which may include high crosses, ogham stones, churches, sculpture, grave slabs, holy wells, etc. Such an undertaking should keep us occupied and out of trouble for possibly a VERY long time as we have many thousands of photographs to work with.
|© 2004-2005 F.J. and K.D. Schorr - All rights reserved.|