At Atlantic Way we are always looking to surprise our visitors by showing them places very few visit such as the secret Round Tower of Kilmacduagh. Kilmacduagh Round Tower and Monastic settlement originally from the 7th Century are in the Burren but not easily found. Let us bring you to these secret places on wonderful island of Ireland. All our private tours can be customised to your interests and pace.
History of Kilmacduagh Monastery
Kilmacduagh Monastery is a ruined abbey near the town of Gort in County Galway, Ireland. It was the birthplace of the Diocese of Kilmacduagh. The story is that Saint Colman was riding on his horse, and his girdle fell to the ground. He took that as a sign, and built the monastery on that spot.
This is an amazing historical site. In the seventh century a Monastery was founded here by St. Colman MacDuagh hence the origin of the name Kilmacduagh (Church of the son of Duagh). It evolved into a place of importance in the twelfth century when it became a diocese, a seat of a Bishop. The round tower is thought to be from between the tenth to twelfth century while the new monastery was founded for the Augustinians in the thirteenth century. It was ransacked on several occasions and eventually fell foul of the dissolution in the 1500’s.
Round Tower details
The rural location of this site really lends to its appeal. It seems to sprawl over a large area. The most notable feature has to be the tower which at 111 feet is the tallest of its kind in Ireland. The entrance door is an incredible 21 feet high which would be a formidable deterrence to would be attackers. Also of note is that the tower actually leans about two feet from the perpendicular. Thomas Deane restored the tower somewhat and documented the tower in 1879. The local gentry of Coole Park Estate funded this.
The tower and the Abbey Cathedral ruins are in close proximity in what is now a graveyard. The cathedral dates to the 13th century but it is thought that the West end is of much earlier origin possibly the 11th century. There would have been a wooden constructed Church before this. Surrounding the graveyard are a number of other ruins including The Church of John The Baptist (parts of again which could be eleventh century), The Church of Mary, the Monastery Church and Teampuil Beg MacDuagh to the South of the graveyard.
A pathway adjacent to the Abbot’s house leads you a short distance North East of the round tower to a further set of ruins known as O’Heynes Abbey or the Monastery Church. Here as well as the main building you can see a somewhat stranded gable end of a building with a doorway and nicely carved window above. Also the foundations of the ambulatory are visible. From the west end there is a great view back at the round tower and the ancillary ruins.
LIST OF OUR CURRENT SIGHTSEEING TOURS
- Ring of Kerry tour + Skellig Tour
- Galway Clifden and Connemara Tour
- Cliffs of Moher County Clare Tour
- Ancestral Tours
- Historical Tours
- Your own specialized sightseeing tour adapted to your agenda/itinerary.
Please get in touch if you want to enquire about a private tour. There are many great reasons to use a private driver.