Kilmacduagh Monastic Site

Map Reference: M405000 (1405, 2000)

Kilmacduagh, is the site of a 7th century monastery founded by St Colman, son of Duagh, a member of one of the local royal families.

It has a magnificent Round Tower complete with conical cap.

The round-headed doorway is very high off the ground (c 8m) and the tower seems to lean slightly. It is lit by angle-headed windows at several levels and six windows at the top.

The church to the north of the Round Tower is called the Cathedral. It had a lintelled west doorway, which is now blocked.

It probably dates to the 11th or 12th century. This was surmounted by a three-light window. The nave of the church dates largely from about 1200. In the 15th century a south doorway was inserted and the transepts were probably built. There are many traceried windows throughout the church. In the south transept there is a three-light south window and a two-light east window. The chancel has a three-light east window and a two-light south window. There is a small north range of buildings.

There is a very high plain chancel arch. To the north of the Cathedral is a small nave-and-chancel church called St Johns Church. It is very ruinous and was not closely inspected.

To the east is a rectangular church, which was also not closely inspected. This is St Marys Church. The building a short distance further north has been partly re-roofed and has crenellations. This is the Glebe House and was probably the Abbots dwelling. It was built in the 13th century. Several hundred metres to the northwest of this cluster of churches is another.

This is O'Heynes Church. It has two fine round-headed lancets in the east wall flanked by thin pilasters. The corners of the east gable also have pilasters.

There is also a plain round-headed lancet in the south wall of the chancel. The south range of buildings also has some round-headed lancets. The building cannot be entered but it is possible to see that the capitals of the high chancel arch (arch missing) are richly decorated. The pillars are made from a central thick pilaster flanked by two narrow pilasters. After the Reformation the monastery passed to Richard, 2nd Earl of Clanrickarde.

The interior of the cathedral is not usually accessible these days. The following photos, of some of the carved stones, were taken about 20 years ago.

For details of other Round Towers click on the links below

Antrim, Co Antrim Armoy, Co Antrim St Mullin�s, Co Carlow Drumlane, Co Cavan 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 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

For more photos of Kilmacduagh Monastic Site click HERE

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