Inishkeen Round Tower

Map Reference: H392070 (2392, 3070)

St Daig mac Carell (d 587) is said to have founded a monastery at Inishkeen in the 6th century. He studied under St Ciaran at Clonmacnois, and St Colmcille is said to have been present at the foundation and blessed the monastery. Many virgins came to live under his rule but he removed them to monasteries of their own in the north. The first reference in the literature is in 687. There are many subsequent references to abbots and to burning (789) and plundering (948). The last recorded monk was in 1085 and the monastery was burned in 1166.

The only remnant of the monastery is the stump of a Round Tower. Its survival is probably due to the fact that it was used as a belfry in the early 19th century. At that time 4ft was removed from the top of the tower and an arch built across it to take a bell. This was removed by the middle of the century because it was unsightly and unsafe. The height of the remaining stump is 12.6m. The flat-headed doorway faces ESE and is 4.1m above the ground. Externally the doorway is 74cm wide at the base and 72cm wide at the top. It is 1.92m high with a lintel composed of three flat stones. This may not be the original lintel.

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