Drumcliffe Round Tower
At a Glance
County Sligo
OS Map 16
OS Coordinate G 677 420
Condition partial tower
Height 9 m
Doorway Type lintelled
Window Type lintelled
Number of Windows 1
Ground to Doorway 2.25 m
Distinguishing Features adjacent to roadway
Traditional Association St. Colmcille (St. Columba)
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Drumcliffe Round Tower, Co. Sligo

Drumcliffe Round Tower - Droim Chliabh - "ridge of baskets"
County Sligo
O.S. Map 16
Visited May 16, 2006

Location: About 7 kilometers north of Sligo on the N 15 in Drumcliff. The tower sits directly on the side of the road protected by a low stone wall. Directly across the street is the modern church whose graveyard contains the high cross. Parking is plentiful here for the Visitors Center.

Dimensions: There is are two offsets visible at the base of the tower. One is just above ground level at the lowest point, visible around only part of the tower, and the other is a good half meter above this. The diameter is just under 5 meters. The partial drum of this tower rises about 9 meters from ground level. The ESE-facing doorway is 1.75 meters above ground level. It's monolithic lintel is cracked, but still runs the entire depth of the doorway. The doorsill is a very thin slate. One very small lintelled window survives facing SSW at about the second floor level.

Features: There is little to distinguish this tower as unique. It's very, very plain.

Comments: This is where the famous poet W.B. Yeats is buried, in the churchyard in a simple grave with the epitaph, "Cast a cold eye on life, on death, Horseman pass by!". A very nice teahouse, gift shop and visitors Center is on site.

History: Tradition has it that St. Colmcille (a.k.a. St. Columba) founded the monastery here in 575. The Annals record the familiar plunderings in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. Lightning is said to have struck the tower in 1396. The greater part of the tower was used to build a nearby bridge. Petrie, in the mid 19th century, drew the tower with a shack at its base and a window remnant at the top of the tower to the southeast.

Other Items of Interest: A fine high cross and the shaft of another high cross are on the edge of the cemetery on the opposite side of the N 16 which divides this site, along with a modern standing stone.

  © 2004-2006 F.J. & K.D. Schorr - All rights reserved.