Drumlane Church and Round Tower

Map Reference: H342122 (2342, 3122)

An early abbey may have been founded by St Maedoc, bishop of Ferns, at the end of the 6th century. However there is some evidence that the abbey was already in existence in 550 when Maedoc was born. St Mary's Priory was founded on the site for the Augustinian Canons in the mis-12th century. It was made subject to St Mary's Abbey, Kells, and seems to have retained this status throughout most of its life. After the Suppression the lands were granted to Hugh O'Reilly of the Brenie in 1570. The only remnant of an early monastery at the site is the stump of a Round Tower.

It stands about 12m high. For the lower 7m or so the construction is of well-formed and dressed blocks of limestone, shaped to the curve of the wall and with close-fitting joints. The upper portion of the tower is constructed of rough-hammered irregular pieces of limestone.

The doorway is about 3m above ground level and about 1.7m high. It is about 50cm wide. It is surrounded by a plain flat moulding. Above the doorway, just within the rough stonework, is a small round-headed window.

The rectangular church has little remaining of interest. The late medieval W doorway has some decoration and a bishop's head on the keystone of the arch.

Inside there are traces of tomb niches but all worked stone has been removed. There are fragments of a large traceried E window with three masks still in place. Two other masks have been built into the inside wall of the church.

There is a trapezoidal coffin lid fixed to the wall but the decoration is very faint. The graveyard has some good late-18th century gravestones including some with skulls and crossbones etc.

For details of other Round Towers click on the links below

Antrim, Co Antrim Armoy, Co Antrim St Mullin’s, Co Carlow Drumcliff, Co Clare Dysert O’Dea, Co Clare Cloyne, Co Cork Kinneigh, Co Cork Tory Island, Co Donegal Drumbo, Co Down Maghera, Co Down Nendrum, Co Down Lusk, Co Dublin Swords, Co Dublin Devenish, Co Fermanagh Kilbennan, Co Galway Kilmacduagh, Co Galway Roscam, Co Galway Aghadoe, Co Kerry Ratoo, Co Kerry Castledermott, Co Kildare Kildare, Co Kildare Kilcullen, C Kildare Oughterard, Co Kildare Taghadoe, Co Kildare Aghaviller, Co Kilkenny Grangefertagh, Co Kilkenny Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny Kilree, Co Kilkenny Tullaherin, Co Kilkenny Timahoe, Co Laois Kilmallock, Co Limerick Dromiskin, Co Louth Monasterboice, Co Louth Aghagower, Co Mayo Balla, Co Mayo Killala, Co Mayo Meelick, Co Mayo Turlough, Co Mayo Donaghmore, Co Meath Kells, Co Meath Clones, Co Monaghan Clonmacnois, Co Offaly Boyle, Co Roscommon Oran, Co Roscommon Drumcliffe, Co Sligo Cashel, Co Tipperary Roscrea, Co Tipperary Ardmore, Co Waterford Glendalough, Co Wicklow

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