Monastic Round Tower & Offer for TheWildGeese.Irish Members

Born in the land of Saints and Scholars, our Irish monastic settlements are a very important part of our Irish heritage.

New in stock, this beautiful 'Dream Tower' Silver Pendant is a replica of an Irish monastic Round Tower. This silver pendant is adorned with three lovely gemstones, blue topaz, amethyst and rhodolite garnet, hallmarked by the Assay Office in Dublin Castle and hangs on a 16" silver chain.

This is a quality silver pendant, handcrafted by Garret Mallon, who is one of Ireland's top jewellers.

Normally retailing at €140, we offer a €30 discount for TheWildGeese.Irish members. (At checkout, use code WGDT30.)

Made to order, expect about 10 working days from order to dispatch. Please order early for Christmas to avoid disappointment. (See more on structures from Ireland's early Church below.)

  

Celebrate Ireland’s monastic past with our beautiful Irish monastic crafted candles for sale at TotallyIrishGifts.com, available as gift sets or as individual candles.

Round Tower

The Irish Round Tower, or Cloigtheach in Irish, was the Bell House found throughout Ireland, principally at churches and more so at monastic sites.

Round Towers were extremely solid and well built, ranging in height from 59 feet to 130 feet in height and 39 feet to 59 feet in circumference. The Round Towers have slits for windows, positioned high up the tower. The roof of the Tower was made of stone in a conical shape. The Round Tower has a door which is raised about 6-8 feet above ground, accessed by a ladder.

Within the Tower there would be about two more floors (wooden) also accessed by a ladder. As children, we were taught that these Towers were built to withhold raids – attacks by Viking marauders. Upon attack, the monks would gather their precious books and relics to the tower and raise the ladders behind them as they progressed up the tower, and so were protected against the invaders. Other conjecture about the purpose of these towers includes:

     * bell towers
     * lookout towers
     * beacons for travellers
     * massive sun dials
     * local memorials

Round towers were built in Ireland between the 9th and 12th centuries, and many still exist today in various states, some in ruins, some intact and good condition.

Beehives

Irish Celtic Monks built beehive-shaped stone huts for use as their living/sleeping areas – cells. The building technique was called ‘drystone' -- no mortar was used yet they still stand strong and watertight. One of the best examples of beehives in Ireland is at the monastic site on the wonderful Skellig Michael island off the coast of Kerry. It requires a one-hour long boat trip to the Skelligs and then an ascent of 600 steps up to the monastic site (and of course then down again) – I chickened out of a trip a few years ago that my husband and then 12-year-old son completed!!

Oratory

On Skellig Michael, you will also find a perfect example of an oratory – a small stone church, to hold about 12 people. Here the Monks had their daily prayer, when they would read the Gospels and memorise Psalms. Other monastic sites had larger churches, but small oratories would have been quite common.

Pictured is the round tower in my home town of Clondalkin, Dublin.

Built on the site of a monastery founded by St. Mochua in the seventh century, this Tower stands about 89 feet high and is made with a variety of rough stones of local calp limestone.

This tower is unusual because it is strengthened by a stone buttress at the base, which is thought to have been added at a later stage. It is the only round tower in Ireland to still retain its original cap.

Opposite the round tower are remnants of a monastery on the site of the present Church of St John. In 832 the monastery was plundered by Viking King Olaf the White, who built a fort here in 852. 

Our local GAA Club is named after the round tower -- 'Round Tower GAA Club' and many other clubs and schools have the symbol of a round tower in their crest.

If you are ever in the area, drop by and get a photo!

Views: 529

Tags: Faith, Folklore, Irish crafts, Monasteries, Round Towers, Shopping, Viking Ireland, mementoes

Comment by Suzee McKee Irwin on October 20, 2015 at 2:16pm

I have seen many of these structures in Ireland. But when I have been in Dublin I have not run across Clondalkin. Is it north of Dublin ? Is it a suburb of Dublin? Did the Vikings raid this particular tower and were they successful. Did they kill the monks or allow them to live? Tell me more.


Heritage Partner
Comment by Totally Irish Gifts on October 20, 2015 at 2:41pm

Hi Suzee, no Clondalkin isn't quite on the tourist trail really, such a pity as we have a real heritage here in  old Clondalkin village.  Although we do have a couple of hotels here, but it isn't a place were tourists would go out of their way to visit. There is talk is an interpretive centre being built at our Round Tower - a long time in the planning, but I think they are getting close and I think that will make a big difference.  For the last couple of years the tower has been opened to visitors during our village festival and you can go up to the stone steps level and look up!

Clondalkin is a suburb of Dublin (D22) and you would pass our outskirts if you were heading out of Dublin to say Cork or Limerick.

Yes the Vikings did raid the Tower - King Olaf the White was successful and then built a fort, but there isn't much evidence of that left.   I'm actually not sure if the monks were allowed live or if they were killed - I'll have to be a bit of research into that!

[Tip - if you are ever in Kilkenny town, there is a round tower at St Canices Church and for a few euro you can actually go up, there is no cap on this tower so you can see the view over Kilkenny town (and see when the rain clouds are coming - as happened the day we were there!]

Take care,

Shauna

Comment by Suzee McKee Irwin on October 20, 2015 at 3:51pm

Oh thanks for the lovely answers to my questions. Now I know where you are. Have been to Kilkenny three times and thought that whole area just super. Hope to get back someday and will go to the round tower that you mentioned. We did go to Jerspoint Abbey (that is the name to the best of my knowledge) and Glendalough. We are the kind of tourists that love to just rent a car and go all over, not just the tourist spots. Nice chatting and good luck to your village in their endeavors. Just love Ireland!

Suzee


Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on October 21, 2015 at 12:06pm

Lovely article reminding all us ex- pats or diaspora - what we left behind when we came to foreign shore to find work . I rue the day ! 


Heritage Partner
Comment by Totally Irish Gifts on June 19, 2018 at 2:17pm

Since I wrote this blog, a wonderful heritage centre has been built at the Round Tower here in Clondalkin. If you ever get to Ireland and are near Clondalkin it is worth dropping in to enjoy the experience. Still can't go up the tower, although we have a festival in Clondalkin every July and you can apply for ticket to in the door and look up inside!

Comment

You need to be a member of The Wild Geese to add comments!

Join The Wild Geese

Irish Heritage Partnership

 

Adverts

Extend your reach with The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership.

Congrats to Our Winners

© 2018   Created by Gerry Regan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service