2 angle-headed, 4 lintelled
Flat-topped, exceptional stonework
-- Holding a mouse over a thumbnail picture will "popup" information
for many of the pictures
-- Clicking ON the thumbnail picture will load up a 1024x780 version
of that picture
Meelick Round Tower Co. Mayo
Meelick Round Tower
O.S. Map 32
Location: About 6 km southwest of Swinford on a side road immediately over
the Trimoge Bridge to the north of N5, the Meelick round tower stands in a cemetery
on a ridge to the right of the road. Ample parking is across the road with easy access
to the cemetery.
Dimensions: Because of the slightly sloping ground, there is one offset visible
on the SE side of the tower and two visible on the northwest side, the lower of which
appears to be undressed rock. The circumference above the upper offset is 17.10 meters,
giving it a diameter of 5.45 meters. The five stone arched doorway is 3.42 meters above
the top offset and faces SSE. Of the six windows, the lowest two are angle-headed facing
ENE and S, and the four remaining lintelled windows face NNW, WSW, ESE and N.
Features: While the tower lacks its cap and traditional bell-storey, it is level
at the top. This may be due to the very even courses of light sandstone that comprise
the tower. The doorway arch and jambstones are carefully crafted and the sill stone is
exceptionally wide, extending to
the left more than a meter past the doorcase. Though not personally observed, it is
reported to have a vault in the second story supported on corbels with a ladder hole.
The doorway has a modern metal gate inserted, though at the time of our visit it was
without locks and open.
Comments: With the abundant lichen growth, the tower seems to glow in sunlight as well
as under floodlight at night (installed as a millenium celebration).
History: Nothing is known of the early monastery here as the round tower is the
only surviving structure. As with other towers, the OPW did some work repointing in
1880-81, but details are not recorded.
Other Items of Interest:
To the right and at the foot of the tower is an old Irish cross-slab bearing interlacing
ornament and the old Irish inscription OR DO GRICOUR (last two letters not clear) meaning
'A prayer for Gricour'.