Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Round tower

A round tower was a place of both refuge and storage, built in the vicinity of a church or monastery, although many have become attached to other buildings because of extensions to the original churches. These are not to be confused with the round tower churches which can be found in England.

Round towers are mostly found in Ireland and Scotland, where they were built as a means of defense against Viking raiders. A lookout was posted at the top of the tower; when a Viking longboat was spotted, the local population would enter the tower, using a ladder which would be raised from within. The towers were also used to store religious relics, and other plunderables.

A famous example of a round tower is at Devenish, an island on Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Devenish was a monastic settlement connected with Saint Molaise.

See also:

External link