Dysert O'Dea Round Tower




N 52° 54' 33.5"   W 009° 04' 07.2"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

R 28150 84770

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Sunday 6 June 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The ruins of the church and the stump of the round tower right behind it.

Since May 14th, 2000, the first time we came here, I wished to visit this site again.
In not many other places I feel a so huge sense of calm and peace like I do here. I'd never go away from this place!
In fact, the name derives from Díseart Tola, which means "the quiet place of St. Tola", the same peacefulness I feel, I presume.
The 12th century church stands on the remains of an early monastery built in 754 by St. Tola, but most of the building was rebuilt in 1683 by Conor O'Dea.
On the south wall of the church there's a wonderful 4-orders Romanesque doorway, which was originally positioned on the west wall of the building and later moved to its current location.
The outermost order of the doorway carries 19 carved heads, 12 are humans, and 7 are beasts, probably dogs. The other three inner orders are finely decorated with different patterns and motifs. It's one of the finest Romanesque doorway in Ireland.
The east window has three tall and narrow lancet arches and dates from the 13th century.
The west window also has some Romanesque decorations on both its jambstones.
The round tower, from the 11th century, is behind the church, and it's a little more than a stump, with most part of the inner walls exposed, almost like in the Drumcliff round tower. Where the stump has the lowest height is a hint of what was the doorway of the tower. On the east side is the only window left. At 1.50 metres from the ground, on the northwest side of the tower, there two narrow slits that allow to look inside.

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