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When
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Drumcliff Round Tower
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 52° 52' 05.0"   W 008° 59' 51.8"

Nearest town

Ennis

Grid Ref.

R 32863 80110

Map No.

58

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

19

Date of visit

Sunday 6 June 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

11
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The church and the tower, both in ruins, seen from the south.


When I saw the name Drumcliff associated to a round tower on the OS map, I wondered how it was possible that the Drumcliff round tower had moved closer to Ennis.
As a matter of fact, the round tower in Sligo county has a slightly different name, Drumcliffe instead of Drumcliff.
This one is a little more than a stump of a tower, standing on the taller spot of the Drumcliff graveyard right outside the town of Ennis. The lowest part of this tower is only 2.50 metres from the gorund, while the highest point reaches about 11 metres. According to the informative sign, it should have been twice as tall when it was intact. Most of the south section is missing, so that the inner walls are exposed.
It is alleged that an early monastic settlement was established here in the 10th century, even if the graveyard that we see today dates back to the 15th century. The round tower could be part of the early monastery, so it's about 1,000 years old. According to some sources two centuries ago a door and three windows were still visible in the tower.
Next to the tower is an old and ruined church which dates back to the 15th century even though its west gable is probably as old as the round tower. It is likely that the current building was built using a part of the early church.
The church has nothing interesting to see.


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