The Disqualified Round Towers of Ireland

Kilmore (Co. Armagh)

visited 12 August 1998

The parish church of this village three miles north-east of Armagh has a little medieval square belfry which is sometimes said to incorporate an almost perfect early round tower inside it. In fact the "round tower" is a staircase turret of which about a third of the circuit obtrudes into the north-east corner of the interior, the rest being lost in the main wall. A much-dilapidated winding stone stairway in the turret leads to the top of the belfry where a bell is hanging. The full height to the top, which is broken off just below the roof of the belfry, is 15.5m. The internal diameter is c. 1.2m and the thickness of the wall 0.5m, both being approximately the same at top and bottom. - A monastery is said to have been founded here in the fifth century by the British-born St Mochta before he moved on to Louth, but little is known of it and nothing remains. The tower is certainly of much later date. (B.)