Monastic settlements of the time typically built a tower to identify their locations and add prestige to the monasteries. They were known in Irish as cloigeach or bell-tower. Even today they are wonderful landmarks, and must have made it easy for pilgrims and visitors of the time to find the monasteries. Taghadoe Tower is about 20m tall.
Ancient lore told us that Round Towers were places of refuge for people and treasures when the monasteries were attacked. That the entrance door is nearly 4 metres up, and therefore somewhat defensible, supports this view. However, 20th century historians seem to opt for the view that they were merely bell-towers and those stories of safe refuge are only folklore. There are the remains of about 100 Round Towers in Ireland.
Ruins of a church built in 1831 and a graveyard surround the Taghadoe Tower. The church has distinctive octagonal turrets at the corners.
This site at Taghadoe is in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1886, and some restoration has been done on the tower. However, regrettably, the conical cap, which would have been typical, if it ever existed, has not been replaced. The tower would originally have had several floors, linked by ladders.
From the square in Maynooth take the Straffan Road for about 4 Km to Taghadoe Cross.
Turn Right and you will come upon the site in 1 Km.
Free access and parking.
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