My long, long journey back home took me past three round towers, this being the first. I was glad to see a pub so close, but with a long dirve ahead of me i decided I'd better not. If I'd have been here at lunchtime it may have been a different story!
The round tower itself is somewhat abbreviated to about half its original height, now standing about 18m tall. A second doorway has been inserted at ground level allowing you to venture inside and look up through the open top. Watch out for the bats!
The graveyard in which this stands is on the pilgramage route to Croagh Patrick and a round or pattern is still observed here. This involves a stone altar (Patrick's Bed) and two holy wells just outside the graveyard. These wells have now died up due to a modern drainage scheme in the area.
I stopped by here to see if I could find the small Sheela-na-Gig that is set into the wall around one of the wells, but I couldn't. There is, however, a large part of one of the walls missing - has the Sheela been stolen? Or have the OPW taken it away for safe keeping? If so, why haven't they put up a sign saying so. Sadly I think it's probably the former scenario that's the case.
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This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.
Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.
Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.
The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.
UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.
ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.