Friday, 20 May 2016

Ireland's Leaning Tower

Recently we made a return trip to the Burren. On leaving the market town of Gort we took
a different road than on our last visit, though still heading  towards county Clare.
Noticing a round tower in the distance and being inquisitive,we drove down to take look.
To find ourselves at the ruined cathedral of Kilmacduagh whose founder was St. Colman who is reputedly buried within the vicinity of the tower and the mortuary chapel.
Others say he was reburied in Aughrim however, his burial slab still remains in Kilmacduagh.
This slab is known locally as having a cure for backache for any sufferer who lies on St.Colman’s grave receives a cure.

The round tower itself is believed to be the highest in Ireland, almost thirty-four metres tall with a diameter of five and a half metres.
Its’ noticeable lean towards the southwest, of about half a metre, is most likely due to having shallow foundations, making it Ireland’s equivalent to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.


The ruins of St. Colman's Kilmacduagh Cathedral
where people still like to be buried.



The Hynes Abbey sits in front of Ireland's Pagan past.


Map showing route in from the R460 to St. Colman's Cathedral









18 comments:

  1. Hi Mel - what an amazing place ... so pleased you went off to have a look at the building and its surroundings ... fascinating and cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, thank you for your comment, lovely looking ruins are they not :-)

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  2. That's a striking building, no idea it existed until now. Ruined church reminds me of the one I played cricket by the other week.

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    1. Thank you Simon and I guess that church ruins all have a similarity about them.

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  3. OK, a visit to Ireland is long overdue. What beauty. As for the taking over for Pisa, I guess
    An Túr Claonta Kilmacduagh just wasn't as catchy (if that's even correct). Thanks for sharing this sights. My sister refueled in Dublin on her way home from Greece in 1970. The first thing she said when I met her at JFK was, "Next year I'm going to Ireland!" We changed planes in Dublin a few times these past 5 years and I understand exactly how she felt. Maybe this year!

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    1. Hi Mitchell your Irish is correct - well said :-)
      Wet or dry Ireland is a rare beauty and the west is (to my mind is best) and no doubt you will get a Céad Mile Fáilte (hundred thousand welcomes) when you do arrive. Thank you for the comment.

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  4. What a wonderful find. Fascinating. Lovely photos and thanks for the link - those really are shallow foundations! :-) xx

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    1. It is amazing of just what the power of prayer will keep standing Teresa!
      Thank you for your comment.

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  5. A very unusual looking tower. It's great that these ruins are still standing.

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    1. Agree they are very odd at first sight, virtually phallic, the round towers are I think peculiar to Ireland and were built by the monks. There purpose: some say were as a place to take refuge in when the Viking marauders came a visiting. Others believe them to have been used for chanting or toning in because of there acoustic properties. I doubt if we shall ever really know Sue.

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  6. The farmer and I visited The Burren a few years ago. I was a wild, wet day and somehow that enhanced the visit as it is such a wild place. I have great memories of the day.

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    1. Agree, the wetness and the winds would only add ambience to the Burren, myself though I prefer to be there on a hot summers day and laze on the stone.
      Thank you for your reminisce Pat.

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  7. Amazing to see these ruins. I'm very fond of following those small signs that you can find everywhere along the swedish roads. Our history runs way back and you can find ruins of entire covenants and castles hidden among the trees or along the coast. Sets your mind at work doesn't it? I remember one site on the island Öland, hidden from the immediate sight, it was the remains of an 11th century castle with a violent history. I'm not normally sensitive but there was an akward, frightening atmosphere within those walls.
    The pictures you add to your posts are stunning!!!

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    1. Hello FT ! Thank you for your comment.
      It is my experience that places with a bad history often retain a negative energy and perhaps that's what you picked up on.
      My photo's are due to my new camera which Mrs H gave me a short time ago, when I came out of hospital - sometimes it pays to be unwell :)

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  8. Oooh I missed this, Mel! A special place indeed! I would love to see the Irish Tower of Pisa in person, but you have taken a great photo of it. The new camera is doing Mrs H's rep a power of good!

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    1. Oh'I treated Mrs H to a bottle of smelly stuff from The Burren Perfumery (https://burrenperfumery.com) which we visited for a bite to eat after seeing the tower. I thought it was only right to give her some retail therapy :-)
      Thanks for your comment Val which is much appreciated.

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  9. Are there many round towers or is this a one off? And why was it necessary to have such a tall tower? A watch out perhaps? So many unanswered questions! Xxx

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    1. Fran,there are dozens of them scattered throughout Ireland, wherever there was a very old monastery there you will find a round tower. They perhaps had a variety of uses from as you suggest a watch tower, a place for storing all manner of belongings as well as being a marker for travellers seeking refuge.
      You will have take timeout and spend say two weeks touring around the island

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