3 lintelled , 4 angle-headed
noticeable bulge in SW
St. Patrick, St. Muiredach
-- 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
Killala Round Tower Co. Mayo
Killala Round Tower
O.S. Map 24
Location: Killala sits on the western central edge of Killala Bay on R 314
and the Western Way. The round tower is in the center of the village of Killala, just up
a side street and is signposted, though its location is obvious from all approaches.
Dimensions: According to Barrow, Killala tower sits on an offset that is more
like a plinth, comprised of 20 large stones with smaller stones below them to ground. As
the gate to the tower area was tightly locked on our 2004 visit, this could not be confirmed, but assume
it has not changed since Barrow's book was published in 1979. Circumference is listed as 15.78
meters (diameter of 5.02). The arched doorway faces SSE and is between 2.98 and 3.8 meters
up, depending on whether its height is measured from the plinthlike offset or the ground
level. There are three lintelled windows in the drum face (in ascending order) ENE, SSE
and W. The traditional four windows in the bell storey are angle-headed and do not face the cardinal compass
points, but are slightly skewed, facing NNE, ESE, SSW,and WNW.
Features: The tower is composed of limestone, many of the stones being quite large.
The doorway is devoid of decoration, however the three stone arch of the doorway is
composed of a a light brown sandstone, contrasting with the grey of the rest of the
doorway and tower. These sandstone blocks carry through the entire depth of the doorway.
About halfway up the drum of the tower, is a noticeable bulge in the stonework. Reports
in 1779 mention a damaged roof and damage midway up the tower from lightning. The OPW did
some repair work in 1841. Though reports are not specific, the cap and wall were repaired
at this time.
Comments: In proportion and overall appearance, this is as pretty a round tower
as you are likely to find anywhere in the country. Ample parking is just outside the
gate off the side street.
History: Traditionally, the monastery was founded by St. Patrick who was rumored
to have spent part of his captivity near here. He appointed St. Muiredach as the first
Other Items of Interest: There is a large souterrain in the cathedral grounds.