Meelick Round Tower
At a Glance
County Mayo
OS Map 32
OS Coordinate M 330 974
Condition capless
Height 21m
Doorway Type Arched
Window Type 2 angle-headed, 4 lintelled
Number of Windows 6
Ground to Doorway 3.5m
Distinguishing Features Flat-topped, exceptional stonework
Traditional Association unknown
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Meelick Round Tower Co. Mayo

Door Door Door
Rock offset at the base of the tower Rock offset at the base of the tower
Looking west

Meelick Round Tower
County Mayo
O.S. Map 32

Location: About 6 km southwest of Swinford on a side road immediately over the Trimoge Bridge to the north of N5, the Meelick round tower stands in a cemetery on a ridge to the right of the road. Ample parking is across the road with easy access to the cemetery.

Dimensions: Because of the slightly sloping ground, there is one offset visible on the SE side of the tower and two visible on the northwest side, the lower of which appears to be undressed rock. The circumference above the upper offset is 17.10 meters, giving it a diameter of 5.45 meters. The five stone arched doorway is 3.42 meters above the top offset and faces SSE. Of the six windows, the lowest two are angle-headed facing ENE and S, and the four remaining lintelled windows face NNW, WSW, ESE and N.

Features: While the tower lacks its cap and traditional bell-storey, it is level at the top. This may be due to the very even courses of light sandstone that comprise the tower. The doorway arch and jambstones are carefully crafted and the sill stone is exceptionally wide, extending to the left more than a meter past the doorcase. Though not personally observed, it is reported to have a vault in the second story supported on corbels with a ladder hole. The doorway has a modern metal gate inserted, though at the time of our visit it was without locks and open.

Comments: With the abundant lichen growth, the tower seems to glow in sunlight as well as under floodlight at night (installed as a millenium celebration).

History: Nothing is known of the early monastery here as the round tower is the only surviving structure. As with other towers, the OPW did some work repointing in 1880-81, but details are not recorded.

Other Items of Interest: To the right and at the foot of the tower is an old Irish cross-slab bearing interlacing ornament and the old Irish inscription OR DO GRICOUR (last two letters not clear) meaning 'A prayer for Gricour'.

  © 2004-2005 F.J. & K.D. Schorr - All rights reserved.