ARDMORE ROUND TOWER, CO. WATERFORD





ARDMORE ROUND TOWER, CO. WATERFORD. -The English of Ardmore is Great Height. It was once a place of importance although now sadly degenerated. It is claimed that St. Declan, who is alleged to have preceded even St. Patrick, was the founder of the churches, the ruins of which, dominated by a most remarkable round tower, are pictured in the sketch. The Saint made it an episcopal see, but the distinction passed away from it long ages ago. The round tower is unique in its construction, differing materially from all other buildings of its kind in Ireland. Instead of rising unbrokenly from base to summit, it is divided into four stories, each having a window of its own. The exterior beltings define the interior divisions. The circumference at the base is about forty-five feet, and the entrance is thirteen feet from the ground. The material used in its construction is cut stone, as carefully finished as if chiseled by skilled workmen of our own day. Unlike most other Irish round towers, that of Ardmore preserves its conical cap, on the top of which a rudely fashioned cross was placed nobody knows when, by some pious hand. Cromwell’s soldiers mutilated the sacred emblem by making it a target during their occupation of the country. In the middle of the century, two skeletons were discovered by curious diggers in the foundations of the tower under a bed of concrete. The mystery of their burial there has never been solved.

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