Ardmore : Round Tower

CountyWaterford
Grid RefX 189 774
GPSX 18887 77361 (7m)
Longitude7° 43' 31.02" W
Latitude51° 56' 53.39" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownYoughal (8.1 Km)
OS Sheet82
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

This site has subsites

Ardmore - Ogham Stones - Ogham StoneSt. Declan's Church - Ardmore - Church
St. Declan's Oratory - Ardmore - Church
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 23rd June 2002

This is quite a short round tower really, or perhaps it just seems that way because it is quite wide at the base.

The door is 4m from the ground on the east side and it still retains its cap - complete with little cross.

Unusually, it has raised string courses around it denoting the floor levels.

This whole area of Waterford is stunningly beautiful and watching the sun go down here was a real treat.

Round Towers are found all over Ireland. They are very tall towers associated with early monastic settlements. Their purpose is one of much debate: were they bell towers, look-out towers or were they defensive structures, built to protect the sites relics and books during Viking raids? Maybe they were all three! The high-set doors certainly give the impression that some element of defense was considered in their construction.

Internally they had four or five floors, each accessed via a ladder from the floor below. Not every floor had a window, but the top floor usually had four windows which aligned to the cardinal points of the compass. The one at Kells (County Meath) unusually has five windows on the top floor which point at the five gates to the town.

Not many of the eighty plus examples left are full height these days. Many crumbled and were taken down for safety purposes. Some, however, are still very impressive inded with Kilmacduagh (County Galway) reaching an incredible 35m tall.

Originally all of them would have had a conical roof and those that still possess this feature give the impression of being ready to blast off into space.

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Sunday, 4th February 2007

Just before midday I realised that I was close to Ardmore and I was getting hungry. What better place in this area to sit and eat my sandwiches than outside the churchyard looking at the tower, the church and beyond them to the beach.

It really is very peaceful here, despite the large numbers of people that went past the churchyard, either walking or in cars. There was one complete idiot who drove past in a blue van with his stereo on way too loud and broke the magic of this place for a moment or two, though.

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Old Images

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Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Round Towers

About Coordinates Displayed

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.

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