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Meelick Round Tower
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 53° 55' 17.5"   W 009° 01' 12.4"

Nearest town

Swinford

Grid Ref.

M 33027 97377

Map No.

32

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

45

Date of visit

Saturday 29 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The cylindrical and roofless tower on the highest point of the old graveyard. Seen from the southeast.


It took us eleven years to come back to this tower, though we had been in the area several other times. We came here for the first time on May 11th, 2002.

It's a cylindrical and roofless tower in an old graveyard.
It was built between 923 and 1013 and was part of an early monastery dedicated to St. Broccaidh (he was one of the St. Lommán's brothers and hence one of the St. Patrick's nephews) which has long disappeared.
The tower is 20.10 metres tall and has a diameter of about 5.50 metres, the arched doorway opens to the southeast (145°) at 3.53 metres from the ground.
The doorway is 74 centimetres wide and 1.68 high.
At the feet of the tower on the east (90°) side is a very old cross slab, probably dating to the 10th or 11th century, which measures 1.49 metres in height, 66 centimetres in width and 15 centimetres of thickness. The slab is wonderfully decorated with a cross, and the cross and the borders of the slab are embellished with interlaced patterns.
An inscription is carved along one side of the carved cross and reads "OR DO GRIENI", the Latin for "Pray for Grieni".
The weird characteristic of this tower is that it was clearly visible from the N5 road from Swinford to Castlebar, but it became invisible when we were approaching it.


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