Ardmore Round Tower

Interior of the round tower, Ardmore (Photos John Sunderland 2022)

The late 11th/12th century round tower is located to the south of the Cathedral. It measures approximately 29 m in height and 5 m in diameter externally at the base. The only door is located 4.2 m above current ground level. There are two grooves on the exterior of the threshold of the door (0.7 m apart) worn through by the use of the original ladder that provided access to the doorway. Internal floors do not survive but are indicated by the presence of corbels some of which are decorated with Romanesque ornament, such as animals heads.

These towers have no foundations hence the raised doorway. The tower is visible from up to 14 km away to the west.

Built as part of a 12th century power struggle with neighbouring Lismore. Architecture was used by the elites of the early 1100s to demonstrate power over political rivals; and Lismore, under the patronage of Cormac MacCarthaig, established its dominance over Ardmore.