Fertagh Round Tower Co. Kilkenny
Fertagh Round Tower
O.S. Map 60
Location: Easily visible and on a side road just off the west side of the N8
about 3.5 km north of Johnstown and south of Durrow (between Portlaois and Cashel).
Because it is so tall and sits on an open plain, it is hard to miss and is an easy
on/off the main road. It is signposted as Grangefertagh.
Dimensions: There is no visible offset, though drawings made by the OPW in the late
19th century show two. Circumference at ground level is 5 m giving an external diameter
of almost 4.8 m. The badly defaced doorway is 3.3 meters from the ground and faces northeast.
It is fitted with a a modern opening, possibly by the OPW in 1879-80, having allegedly
lost the original stones to a farmer who used them as firebricks in his kitchen in the
mistaken belief that they would protect him from fire. This modern doorway opening is
presently fitted with a hinged metal mesh padlocked door. There are five windows in the
drum of the tower. Two are angle-headed and three are lintelled. The four angle-headed
windows in the bell-storey face the cardinal compass points
Features: The distorted doorway is a sad reminder of just how fragile antiquities
are without some sort of legal protection and conservation. The nicely coursed and
dressed limestone blocks give a hint of just how well built this tower was. Above the
mostly complete cornice, the tower retains a hint of it's conical cap in a few places.
Comments: Given information from other round towers, if this tall straight
tower was restored to its original condition, there is no doubt it would be the tallest
round tower in the country. In its present state, because of its shallow batter, from
a distance it resembles an