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When
Why
Castledermot Round Tower
 

County

Kildare

Coordinates

N 52° 54' 37.6"   W 006° 50' 05.8"

Nearest town

Castledermot

Grid Ref.

S 78433 84999

Map No.

61

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

88

Date of visit

Friday 14 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The round tower next to the modern church and the Romanesque doorway at the entrance of the graveyard.


The round tower was an original feature of the monastic settlement founded in 812 by St. Diarmaid and stood to the northwest of the early church built here.
The Vikings attacked the monastery twice in the 9th century. It was burned in 1106.
The modern church has been built west of the old one, so that now the tower stands to the north of it. Its doorway is at the ground level and faces south, though it's not currently visible as it's been connected to the modern church nearby. The tower is 15 metres tall and the top has battlement of unknown date. This same feature is common to the Kildare round tower.

At the entrance of the settlement there's a reconstructed Romanesque doorway that now stands as an archway to the graveyard.
Other fine elements in this settlement are the two stone crosses.
One of them is quite recognizable as a cross, the other one is more like a thick slab with a carved cross on its east side and a natural rib on the west side. A hole is punched in the center of the cross. This cross is known as the "swearing stone", and possibly it was used to sign deals in the medieval times.
There's also a hog-back burial marker of scandinavian origins, the only one in all Ireland.

We came here for the first time on June 3rd, 2001.


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