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When
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Timahoe Round Tower
 

County

Laois

Coordinates

N 52° 57' 37.4"   W 007° 12' 12.2"

Nearest town

Portlaoise

Grid Ref.

S 53582 90222

Map No.

60

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

119

Date of visit

Saturday 11 June 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

7
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The beautiful round tower in Timoahoe seen from the east.


It seems this is the most elegant round tower of all Ireland. It's 26 metres tall, has a diameter of almost 6 metres and has 5 internal floors. Its walls are almost 2 metres thick.
The tower retains its original aspect, except for the conical cap that was rebuilt in the 19th century.
The doorway is at 5 metres from the ground, faces northeast (65°), it has four orders in Romanesque style finely decorated with geometric patterns and the capitals show carvings of human heads with flowing beards. Two orders of the doorway are outside the tower wall, two orders are inside, and they are separated by a narrow vaulted lobby.
East of the tower are the ruins of the church that was part of the monastic complex. In the 15th century a chancel arch was added into its east wall. Two hundreds years later the church was converted into a castle and a tower was added to the building.
It is believed that this round tower was built in the 12th century on the site of a previous monastic settlement founded by St. Mochua at the beginning of the 7th century.

A sheela-na-gig should have been here, but it's no longer present.

We came here for the first time on May 19th, 2002.


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