Clones Round Tower




N 54° 10' 39.72"   W 007° 13' 58.62"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

H 50076 25688

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Thursday 2 July 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The round tower is in the boundary wall of the St. Tierney's cemetery. Seen from the west.

In the St. Tierney's cemetery in Clones there are two interesting elements.
They are the round tower featured in this page and the sarcophagus that is said to contain the remains of the saint who founded the monastery and the town in the 6th century. Both are the remains of the monastery originally founded by the St. Tigernach at the beginning of the 6th century.

The tower stands at the west end of the graveyard and is part of the enclosing wall. The conical roof is missing, the doorway is on the east (80°) side at 1.68 metres from the ground and measures about 1.60 metres of height and about 50 centimetres of width.
Only two of the windows under the roof line survive, a third window on the west side is missing the top section. Two smaller windows are on the north and east side.
The tower is 20.50 metres tall and has a diameter of 4.40 metres.

About 25 metres southeast (120°) from the round tower is the tomb of St. Tigernach (or Tierney).
It's a stone sarcophagus shaped like an early Irish church.

A slab north of the tomb tells us that St. Tiernach (sic) was of the Royal House of Oriel. He was the first abbot of Clones monastery and Bishop of Clogher from 500 to April 4th, 546.
There is an inscription of the sloping faces of the sarcophagus but it's very worn out and illegible. The east side of the tomb seems to have a bas-relief carved figure, but it's not clear.
The sarcophagus is 1.79 metres long, 1 metre high and 68 centimetres wide. It stands on a small rectangular base.

In the same graveyard there's a good collection of 18th century grave markers in the usual folk-art style, so peculiar to this area.

We came here for the first time on May 10th, 2000. I have to admit that I remebered the place different, I remember more trees in the graveyard.

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