Tullaherin Round Tower
At a Glance
County Kilkenny
OS Map 67
OS Coordinate S 591 478
Condition currently undergoing conservation
Height 22.5m
Doorway Type Unknown - breached
Window Type 8 lintelled (4 in bell storey)
Number of Windows 8
Ground to Doorway 3.7m
Distinguishing Features In scaffolding 2004
Traditional Association St. Kieran of Seir
 
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Tullaherin Round Tower Co. Kilkenny

North side of tower Information North west side of tower North facing window North side of tower with lower north facing window

Tullaherin Round Tower
County Kilkenny
O.S. Map 67
Tulach Chiarain, or the 'mound of St. Kieran'

Location: About 12 km S.E. of Kilkenny, east of N 9 on a side road from Dungarvan. It is signposted, but the little roads sometimes become confusing. The tower stands at the back of a cemetery near the ruins of a church which has undergone a number of incarnations over the centuries.

Dimensions: Circumference of the tower is just under 15.5 meters, giving it a diameter of 4.92 meters. The tower is 22.5 meters from ground level to the highest point. Windows are all lintelled and face, in ascending order, SE, W, WNW, and NNE. The bell-storey, which appears to have had eight windows similar to O'Rourke's tower at Clonmacnoise has four remaining windows, all rectangular and lintelled. They face NW, N, NE and E. The doorway was not evident due to the heavy scaffolding and fencing, but as conservation is still in the very early stages, it seems reasonable to believe that the doorway is still without casing and supported by the stabilizing pier that was inserted in 1892. It is 3.7 meters above ground level.

Features: A capless tower, possibly parapetted, currently undergoing conservation.

Comments: It is encouraging that steps have been taken to try to preserve the remains of this round tower, but progress seems to be painfully slow at this site. It will be interesting to return when the work is complete. Locals tell the story that when repairing the round tower workmen found several walking sticks on top. These came from times past when young men in the area challenged each other to throw the sticks over the tower with on hand while resting the other hand against the wall of the tower.

History: Tullaherin is an ecclesiastical site dedicated to Saint Kieran. Is has been a place of great importance since the earliest times and has seen continuous religious worship on the same site for over one thousand years. Due to safety issues, Tullaherin was scaffolded in November of 2001 and used by architects, surveyors and engineers to assess the tower's condition. It appears that some repointing has been done, but most of the features were still hidden by the scaffolding in the Fall of 2004. Work does not seems to be in an active phase at this time.

Other Items of Interest: The nave and chancel church ruin was apparently built in the 12th century and renovated and added to through the 17th century. An ogham stone is said to reside near the church wall, but as the church was blocked off as a part of the conservation effort along with the round tower, we were not able to confirm this.

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