Ardrahan Round Tower Co. Galway
Ardrahan Round Tower
O.S. Map 52
Visited May 20, 2006
Location: : In the rear of the Church of Ireland churchyard off the N18,
built into the churchyard retaining wall. Best visible from the farmgate on the
road running between the church and the Ardrahan Post Office (about 250 meters
from the P.O.). There is parking for perhaps two cars along the front of the
church near the beautifully maintained steps on the N18.
Dimensions:Irregular offset approximately .75 cm above ground level with four
courses of large regularly coursed stone above, less than 3 meters high.
The diameter can be guessed at from the curve as being somewhat less than 5 meters,
typical for a round tower.
Features: The remnants of this tower are merely a half of a shell.
The interior is almost completely covered with brambles and ivy, making photography
close to impossible. The interior is further obscured by a 19th century graveslab,
though whether it actually indicates a burial there is uncertain since many of the
graveslabs now in the churchyard were moved when the small road beside the church
was built, according to locals.
Comments:Michael Taylor, a professed stonemason who lives nearby, is the
caretaker for the church and has spent much of his personal time clearing the
brambles, gorse and ivy from the graveyard. His family has lived in Ardrahan
for some 300 years and claims that the road level has been lowered twice in his
lifetime and that this is having a profound effect on the churchyard.
History: Unknown. Nothing remains of this early site other than the fragment
of the round tower.
Other Items of Interest: In the Church of Ireland Parish church (1809) is a font reputed
to be from Corcomroe Abbey and approximately from the 9th to 11th century.
There are also remnants of the medieval church which once stood here housed in the
church entry. In the churchyard, much neglected and tended to only recently are a
number of interesting graves and two standing stones. The grave of Thomas Fin Cook
was apparently a Mason, another has a primitive carving of a ploughman's tools.
One incorporates snowflakes and spirals and one (which appears to be upside down)
has some good knotwork and a celtic cross inscribed on it. Across the main road
from the church are the ruins of a reputed DeBurgo Tower house with an earthwork surround.