Seir Kieran Round Tower
At a Glance
County Offaly
OS Map 54
OS Coordinate N 139 023
Condition stub/foundation
Height 2.6 m from inside floor
Doorway Type n/a
Window Type n/a
Number of Windows none
Ground to Doorway approx. 20 cm
Distinguishing Features possible bullaun in doorsill
Traditional Association St. Kieran
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Seir Kieran Round Tower, Co. Offaly

Seir Kieran Round Tower
County Offaly
O.S. Map 54

Location: About 7 km southwest of Kinnitty on the R 421 and about 8 km southeast of Birr. It is signposted along a straight stretch of road but can be seen from one direction only, so it is easy to pass. Down a narrow lane and park along the road. Walk down the decent farm track to the old St. Ciaran C. of I., in front of which the graveyard sits.



Comments: Despite the sign that says that locals make a pilgrimage to the site on the saint's day, this is a very uneven graveyard and difficult to navigate. The round tower is especially difficult to get to, as the upper part of the graveyard was fenced off at the time of our visit and no good angles for photography were available. The field in which it sits, directly next to, but separated from, the priory wall contained a grazing ewe and her newborn twins, and so was not an option to use.


Other Items of Interest: In the fields surrounding the site is a double-banked earthen enclosure enclosing an area of about 10 acres. To the south of the graveyard is a low motte, possibly once the base of a12th century Anglo-Norman timber castle. Within the graveyard is the shell of a medieval gun turret, far more impressive than the base of the round tower on the opposite corner of the church ruin. The east gable of the Church of Ireland contains a very nice 13th century traceried window. In the center of the graveyard is the carved base of a high cross, now very worn, but with imagination the procession of men marching with spears on the left toward a horse's head on the right. There are also a few curious stones around the graveyard, such as the flat boulder with a hole through it.

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