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Who
What
Where
When
Why
Franciscan Bell Tower Church
 

County

Louth

Coordinates

N 54° 00' 22.4"   W 006° 23' 38.4"

Nearest town

Dundalk

Grid Ref.

J 05353 07517

Map No.

36

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

15

Date of visit

Friday 30 May 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The beautiful bell tower seen from the southwest. The contrast between the gray and red sandstone of the masonry is so elegant.


We were nearly missing this! Though we drove through Dundalk three or four times before we never saw this interesting tower, the only remnant of a Franciscan Friary founded in 1240's, reputedly by Lord John de Verdon. His family founded Dundalk in 1180's and built Castle Roche castle in 1236.
Maolphadraig O'Scannaill was consacrated Bishop of Raphoe here in 1253. Later he became Archbishop of Armagh.
In 1315 Robert the Bruce and his soldiers attacked, sacked and burned the friary and killed 22 friars.
The friary was rebuilt, but it was caught in the fights between Northern Irish and English forces, until it was razed by Deputy Sir Leonard Grey in 1539.
This magnificent bell-tower stands at the crossroads of Mill Street and Castle Road in Seatown, Dundalk. It's five storeys high, with small lancet windows on the second and third floors and two-lights pointed arched windows on the fourth floor. The top is crenellated, with the northwest battlements being much higher than on the other sides. The four corners have massive buttresses.
All the windows and the corners of the tower have been cut in red sandstone, the contrast with the grey stones of the rest of the masonry is astonishing.


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